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Response to digonswine (Reply #83)

Sun May 27, 2018, 02:06 PM

88. Hi back at you

Hoping you have a great holiday...

Safety is an all-pervasive and intrinsic part of life. I have fire extinguisher in my kitchen and airbags in my truck. I don't leave my navigation to a GPS since driving to and/or through more dangerous areas is maybe the computer controlled "best option". I drive defensively. I try to make my choices, course and speed predictable and apparent to other drivers. I focus on what they are doing and try to predict their intentions and courses. I routinely check the current and power rating on extension cords to confirm the safety margin for their use with the intended appliance.

In many aspects of my work, safety is an absolute necessity. One of the absolute basic and initial steps toward safety is an assessment of the situation. I'm going to say something here that you and many folks probably won't like. You said:
"I try to do my part to explain that school is a safe place."
In very plain language, it isn't. This is demonstrated across the country and carried by the news media. Schools overall are statistically safe but, in general, remain soft targets for disaffected and disturbed people. Just because these perpetrators are ill and disturbed, does not make them stupid nor lacking in logic. The deadliest mass murder at a school in the US occurred in Bath Township, MI in 1927. I think fire bombs were the principal cause of most deaths. One way to strategically increase school safety on a city or county wide basis is open more schools and make them smaller so that any casualties at any one location will be limited and the smaller facilities will become less attractive.

I very much agree with your motivation. Since your objective is to teach and motivate your students to learn, having them distracted by the thought of being involved in school shooting won't help with that. Explaining why they are safe and from what and why is empowering. In 2015 there were 62 casualties of school shootings across 21 separate events where 21 of those died. That is from among a population of tens of millions of people attending school everywhere in the US. (There were over 50,000,000 people between ages 6 and 18 in 2015 in the US). Using history as a guide, it seems very, very unlikely that any individual student will be shot at school.

Of the various plans for security and making schools harder targets, I find it surprising that security cameras aren't mentioned more often. This one of the cheaper and most important aspects of overall safety. Video surveillance could and has been a lifesaver. Detecting an intruder armed or not is very important. Being able to alert local law enforcement is important. I mentioned above the 21 incidents from 2015. Would it surprise you know that about one in 4 of these shootings is unsolved with no suspects? Without video, emergencies are harder to detect and usually more advanced when discovered. Detecting a heart attack or stroke victim would be possible. Seeing someone choking or the beginning of a fire could be possible.

Like many other health threatening conditions, early detection is part of the answer. Do we all love the idea on being on camera? Probably not but adding video surveillance to densely attended soft targets makes a lot of sense. Removing from a huge population an even more huge number of weapons will probably be less reasonable. Cameras and 2-way intercom along with telephones and a 911 backup line (cellular) would be a plan.

Knowledge is power. Most school shooting not ending in a preemptive suicide by the assailant end with or soon after the arrival of law enforcement. Shortening the time before law enforcement is called shortens the time available for the attack and limits possible causalities.

Why are there no adults doing anything about this?
Many adults are "doing" "something". Some are working against each other. (Hyperbole active: There are those that want a nationwide house to house confiscating all firepower greater than a BB gun. There are those that want to require teacher to be armed. Hyperbole off.) As I said before, giving a teacher anything from a handgun to a howitzer is the wrong course.

Why in the world do we need to worry about a nut entering our school and killing us?
We need to plan for dealing with any situation demonstrated by precedent or contemplated as probable.

Changing the world has to begin by each of us changing ourselves. If we are concerned about the rights of animals and having them raised as a crop, the way to help isn't by trying ban meat. Becoming a vegetarian is a start.

...if you...respond with logistics and advice about the number of entrances to a school-you instantly lose any credibility...
Schools have doors and walls for a reason, not just to keep out the mosquitoes.

Just my thoughts.

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