Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Shooting Updates

Word via Twitter is that the suspect from Roosevelt has shot himself over in West Seattle. Early word is that this is the Roosevelt suspect. If so, it may be true that the Roosevelt and downtown shooter are one and the same. (It would seem odd that if there were two shooters who both fled to West Seattle. There also appeared to be police action around 50th and Roosevelt with police going into a house.

21 comments:

Seateach said...

Thanks for the update. As a teacher at one of the locked down schools today, I heard from a lot of parents who were frustrated they didn't get any updates from the school, or on the school's website. I was also surprised at the number of parents who showed up to take their child home.

It's good for parents to know that, at least at my school, my administrators were out monitoring hallways and entryways, being vigilant to keep kids safe. The front office staff were trying to communicate updates to the administration and teachers, and coordinate things like feeding kids lunch in a lockdown situation. Teachers were following directions, trying to keep kids comfortable, safe, and productive.

Here are some tips for parents in a big crazy shooter on the loose situation: Don't show up at the school to check on your child. A parent knocking on locked doors distracts staff from caring for students. Check the news to get updates on what the situation is, and where it is. Call the district office to get specifics. Email your child's teacher or, if you have a desperate question or message, call his classroom. If your child has a phone, he/she will be on it. Send a text or call and leave a message for updates and to communicate pickup options for when school is dismissed. Your child's teacher has 30 children, but the office and administration have hundreds. Let them manage the situation without interruptions and without extra bodies entering and trying to leave the building. I heard a parent say, "This is ridiculous," today. Well, it's not ridiculous when you consider that securely locking a school down means there's one less vulnerable spot the police have to worry about.

If anyone should be posting updates for parents, it should be the district. Staff in the schools are keeping things organized, safe, and as calm as possible.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks Seateach for those tips.

I would also add that we try here to keep up-to-date on what is happening. I did check the district website and was surprised to see nothing at all. It was only on Twitter that they gave info. I'm thinking the schools got some kind of alert and may have e-mailed parents or sent a robo-call to parents.

Seateach said...

I think whoever is at the district notifying schools to close should also have an update on the district website, like we do for snow days.

As far as I know, schools got the call to lockdown, and then "shelter in place," which means we get situated for a longer lockdown situation. I don't know why the district couldn't have some news on the website.

There's a lot about our district I don't know the whys to. I have to say, you and Charlie do a good job of trying to find them.

Maureen said...

We received three robo calls from Roosevelt HS today which I really appreciated (Though I first heard about the incident via a text from my senior. One of those cases where new technology is a plus!)

Watching said...

"One of those cases where new technology is a plus!"

Absolutely. Definately worth reminding our kids to bring their cell phones to school.

Watching said...

"One of those cases where new technology is a plus!"

Absolutely. Definately worth reminding our kids to bring their cell phones to school.

Anonymous said...

These days I get a lot of my Seattle news from here.

(zb)

Anonymous said...

My kid knows of the shooting. One shooting was at a place where we hang out. Someone he knows is dead but my kid doesn't know that yet: he's just upset that violence would happen somewhere he himself thought was safe. I find it difficult to find a right or good way to tell him, but a SPS psychologist has given me some good advice.

---Christina

Floor Pie said...

I was helping chaperone a B.F. Day class field trip to Seattle Tilth, and our group got pulled into the Meridian School's gym for the lockdown. The kids were SO good, calm and cooperative, especially considering they'd been right in the middle of a picnic and hoping to hit the playground.

The Meridian School staff gave them books to read, and I did Tic Tac Toe, Hangman, and math problems with the kids who weren't into reading. Luckily, we were able to get out of there in time to enjoy our scheduled field trip. What a day...

TraceyS said...

Glad to hear Meridian took good care of you. My oldest goes to school there, but they are away on a three day field trip this week. We don't have many incidents there, but the school is quick to respond appropriately and they keep the kids calm, IMHO.

I am actually quite impressed with how well all the schools in Seattle, public and independent, handled this. Many in the north area here went into lockdown or shelter in place, and were in close contact with SPD within minutes. My only comment is that it was unclear to me why some schools did not lock down (such as Wedgwood) while others nearby (such as Eckstein and UPrep). To WW's extreme credit, the principal did keep the kids inside, were very alert, and sent home a brief note to families, and for that I am deeply grateful.

Anonymous said...

Don't you love that modern technology:

Received from our high school Fusion/all district email list serve at 5:20pm:

"Wednesday, May 30 at 2:24 PM
Schools anticipate regular release times today"

....original message sent from the district at 2:24 pm---school releases 6 minutes later at 2:30 pm---and it takes the school 3 hours to forward the message to families--great, really informative & timely!

...test run earns a "F" grade

Concerned teacher taking care of students said...

Melissa and Charlie,
Perhaps you may know why NO ONE from the district informed staff that a shooter or at the time possibly two schoolers were at large with no one knowing where the shooter was during the school day? As teachers many of us know little of what transpires "outside" when we're engaged teachingand students learning. While the police were telling people in the city to lock their doors and don't open them for anyone you don't know, we were vulnerable in schools across the city. While some may call it paranoid, at the very least we should have all gone to shelter in place. How do we protect children if we are in the dark. We received NO EMAIL or communication WHAT SO EVER and we should have in light of the number of shootings and killings lately.

Would you please find and answer if you can?

concerned said...

I wonder too why certain schools were not put on lockdown.
Bryant Elementary students were still outside playing at lunch??
Is this a district call that locks down schools or a school based decision or both. Wedgwood and Bryant are both closer then Eckstein.

Floor Pie said...

Just heard that a "concerned citizen" carrying a gun approached some Bush School students yesterday in the midst of all the shooting chaos, I guess in an attempt to help. So Bush was on lockdown, too.

Anonymous said...

Eckstein was also at lunch. They went to shelter-in-place during their second lunch period about 11:30. I know that Bryant also went to shelter in-place, not sure what time, but easily could have been while kids were at lunch. Roosevelt kids were at lunch too. Typically, they were all over the neighborhood and were rounded up by police who herded them back to school for a lockdown. It sounds to me like about the same time at each school.

-NE parent

mirmac1 said...

What I found odd is that Lafayette was in shelter-in-place, but no word on WSHS or Madison, only block(s) away...?

Unknown said...

Bryant K-1 kids were at recess when the decision was made for shelter in place. They were walked in and the remaining recess times were indoor.

Bryant parent

Unknown said...

Bryant K-1 kids were at recess when the decision was made for shelter in place. They were walked in and the remaining recess times were indoor.

Bryant parent

TraceyS said...

Wedgwood is about 7 blocks further north than Eckstein, and is tucked away off major streets and bus lines, so I could see doing shelter in place instead of lockdown (which is essentially what they did). Also, the shootings happened right around lunchtime, and even with the very fast notification that went out, it is understandable that some kids were at lunch/recess at the time. It sounds like the schools did a very good job at corralling the kids back into the schools all over the city.

I am very relieved to hear that so many public and private schools locked down, sheltered in place, printed up parent notices, kept staff informed over the loudspeaker, etc throughout the afternoon. I know kids and parents at Bryant, Wedgwood, UPrep, Meridian, Assumption, Greenlake, Eckstein, Bush, and Roosevelt, plus several local preschools, so I heard or saw first hand what each of those schools did, and we should all be extremely proud and thankful at their quick and calm approach to a fluid and unknown situation.

What I am curious about (not critical about, just curious) is the notification process, and how and who decides lock down vs shelter in place vs just be alert. I have heard from several sources that the notifications came from SPD directly to the schools, certainly for the independent ones. Whatever the process is, it worked. I know that at the independents, the head of school makes the call, so I am guessing this may be a principal decision at the public ones. I want to be very clear that I am NOT second-guessing the principals, and I think each and every one of them should be commended for their quick actions. I thanked Wedgwood's principal yesterday, and will send a brief note to my other kid's school today. It would be nice to have a little insight as to how the lock down decision is made, and more importantly, how us parents should respond to a lock down or shelter in place situation.

On a related note, one of the things I did yesterday was pick up a friend's middle schooler directly from her school (we usually give her a ride home, but pick her up a few blocks away), and kept her at our house for the afternoon. I also know several of the neighborhood middle and high schoolers who are sometimes home in the afternoons by themselves, most of which went home with family friends yesterday. This made me realize that while the schools may have plans for dealing with emergencies like this, families may not have plans for emergency after school arrangements (I know we didn't). I will be talking with my neighbors about having designated houses with adults for the kids to congregate at after school, and possibly having plans for direct after school pickup for kids who normally take the city bus home. Having an emergency plan for the older kids is now on my radar after yesterday.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Tracy, I'll be doing a roundup thread on this about lessons learned.

I live right near Roosevelt and I told all my son's friends (when he was there) that they could always come to my house if they were ill or needed help during the day. The parents gave me sign-out rights to bring them to my house in just such a case as yesterday's in case their own parents could not come and get them.

TraceyS said...

We informally did the same yesterday, but it occurred to me that having a more official after school emergency plan with friends and neighbors would be good. It also bolstered my older kid's case for wanting her own cell phone. I am now more on board with that than ever. I also now know the difference between a lockdown and shelter in place, which I did not know before, nor did I know how to appropriately respond as a parent to either situation at my kids' schools.

Getting information out quickly to parents and the public is always a difficult thing in emergency situations. For example, tornadoes ripped through my hometown in Texas just a couple of months ago during school hours. I was following the local news reports online, and sending out Facebook updates as they came in. Several folks later said that their power was out and the radio reports were sketchy, but they could follow my and others' immediate FB updates on their phones as to where the tornadoes were touching down, which schools were locked down, and when it was safe to come out. One example - after the first round of tornadoes passed over my parent's and sister's houses, they came out and were assessing damage when reports of more tornadoes with the tail end of the storm came in. I was able to send them back into shelter in time, all the way from Seattle. Having multiple ways to get immediate, changing information was an important takeaway for all of us.

I can say that I felt relatively well informed yesterday, under the circumstances. I think the district can make some improvements (rapid website updates, for one), but I am very relieved that all schools in this city took the situation seriously, and acted on it immediately.