Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teachers - Saving Lives Daily

For the second time this month a teacher has stepped up to save lives.


We learn this morning that a third student has died from yesterday's high school shootings in Ohio. What a tragedy.

But it probably would have been worse if not for the fearless, selfless actions of a teacher/coach, Frank Hall, who chased the shooter out of the building. (When I heard this I thought, why would the shooter, who has the gun, run from the coach? But old habits die hard and the shooter probably could only think to run from the adult.)

Bless Coach Hall his courage and the caring he showed for his students.

We all know that many a teacher has motivated a life or encouraged a life in the classroom. That now we find them literally saving lives should not surprise any of us.

Interesting article on why the US has more school shootings.

I urge you to TALK to your older children. Ask them about what's happening at school. Ask them if it makes them feel safe to have fire drills and safety drills. Ask them if they worry about any child (either out of fear or concern).

14 comments:

KG said...

Yes, this is a terrible tragedy.

In Seattle schools we just keep getting rid of counselors and hiding lots of to much and to expensive Central Admin. But nothing will change here in Seattle. Ho Hum

Fed Up said...

Live by the gun, die by the gun. The NRA lunatics should have to go explain to those kids' families and friends why packing a piece is so patriotic and protects our liberties. Some day people will look at us as the lunatics we are for allowing access to guns buy the general public. Ther e will always be angry kids but don't give them a Glock for God's sake. Sometimes I hate this country.

KG said...

Prioities in Seattle Schools are wrong about early intervention leading to prevention. The district keeps cutting early prevention jobs.

I guess there is not enough data for counselors to be more important to the district.

chunga said...

One article I highly recommend when figuring out how to make schools safer, is "Safety from the Inside Out: Rethinking Traditional Approaches at http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/safety.htm

chunga said...

One article I highly recommend when figuring out how to make schools safer, is "Safety from the Inside Out: Rethinking Traditional Approaches at http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/safety.htm

Melissa Westbrook said...

Fed Up, I hear you.

I would like to see an adult who does not secure weapons in their home against use by minors to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

I would like to see more people being sued in civil court. (This is a lesson we learned from O.J.) Bring someone to their financial knees and the message will get out - secure your weapons. You will be held accountable.

KG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KG said...

Our country values killing more than education because it enriches the rich more.

Just like our state values Boeing, or should we re-name it bombing.

Lori said...

Melissa, I am with you 100% about holding adults responsible when a child is hurt or killed by the adult's unsecured gun.

Unfortunately, we have no such law here in Washington state. I was shocked to learn this three years ago when a young member of my extended family was killed by a gun. The gun owner left his weapon loaded and fully accessible to children yet there was no crime with which he could be charged in WA when one of them used it and died.

It's extremely difficult for me to hear stories like what happened in Bremerton last week and Ohio yesterday. Every school shooting, every child injured by a gun, some days it's just more than I can bear. Our society seems to have become inured to gun violence against our kids, and we are powerless against the gun lobby. The madness has to end, and we have to find a way to protect our kids better than we do today.

As the Times reported a few days ago about the Bremerton shooting, "Many states have some form of law that specifically provides criminal penalties for adults who allow children to get their hands on guns, but Washington is not one of those states, according to the San Francisco-based Legal Community Against Violence.

In Olympia, the Seattle Democrat who chairs the state Senate Judiciary Committee said there is a lapse in state law. "We do not hold people very accountable in this state for leaving guns around the house with small children," Sen. Adam Kline said.

Kline said that he would consider a bill to address it during the next legislative session next year, but didn't sound hopeful of its chances.


There you have it. He's not hopeful that we will enact a common-sense law that saves kids' lives. I urge you and all of the other readers to contact Senator Kline and give him your support for this bill. We need him to write a sensible bill, garner support from other Senators, and fight the gun lobby to get it passed.

As someone personally affected by this issue, I feel a strong responsibility to work for sensible gun control, yet it's going to take so much more than the efforts of people like me who know the pain of losing a child to gun violence. It's going to take overwhelming support of our citizens to battle the gun lobby and protect our children. I hope we can do it.

Lori said...

And one additional point of clarification. I don't think civil charges against irresponsible gun owners are enough. First, some will have no assets, making it a moot point. But more importantly, I'm not sure that's a sufficient deterrent. That is, fear of civil prosecution probably isn't enough to change behavior.

Criminal charges, however, might be sufficient. If we started locking up a few of these irresponsible gun owners who recklessly endanger lives, maybe, just maybe, other gun owners would get the message. Send a few of them to jail for a very long time. That might just get people to understand that owning a gun comes with serious responsibilities, and that owners are responsible for every discharge of their weapons, whether they pull the trigger or not.

Anonymous said...

Melissa states. "I would like to see more people being sued in civil court. (This is a lesson we learned from O.J.) Bring someone to their financial knees and the message will get out - secure your weapons. You will be held accountable."

I am a bit confused by this statement re: O.J.. (Suing "the haves" or "have nots"? The haves know how to work the system. Those who "haven't got" seldom have neither the time nor the money to be in it to win it.)

Still, Melissa's comment notwithstanding, have there ACTUALLY been adults held responsible ("sued in civil court") or brought to their "financial knees: for the *school shootings* committed by their children or young relatives?

I also question the statement as somewhat flippant, as I, a teacher, have just had another former student shot and killed this month. This 22 - year old was attempting to be a peacemaker in a situation in which he could not succeed.

I believe the general issue is this: What can we do at home, in schools and in our communities to attempt to change this culture in which we live? How?


Modern Sound (in Rio de Janeiro)

Anonymous said...

Oops!
I meant to say that the "have - nots" seldom have the time and money to put forth a challenge in the court system."

Typing while tired!

Modern Sound (in Rio de Janeiro)

Melissa Westbrook said...

I was not being flip. You can sue for civil damages which are less stringent than criminal courts.

I think you could hold someone responsible for not securing their weapon on civil charges. Has it been done? I don't think so.

But I wouldn't wait for American society to figure this out. You get a couple of high-profile cases where adults are held responsible (and lose their house, etc.) and word would get out. Secure your weapons.

A 22-year old is not a minor. I'm talking about if a minor gets ahold of a weapon.

Anonymous said...

I do enjoy and appreciate this blog!

Melissa, I was referring to the O.J. comment as "flip" and not being directly related to the matter at hand. I know some people will not agree--we'll just have to agree to disagree.


However, I am definitely aware that my 22- year old former student who tried to stop people from fighting was not a minor. This young man (in school and working) was shot and killed a few weeks ago while trying to prevent an altercation between two groups of people after an evening out.

And unfortunately, no one is telling who it was who shot him...

I am linking this senseless death to recent events with minors for a reason. As we work on changing the culture, we also must help people identify and develop the tools needed for nonviolent resolution. This is where schools can play a role early intervention and prevention comes in.



Modern Sound (in Rio de Janeiro)