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    School safety and mindset

    My wife is a middle school teacher in small city, midwest, USA. Today, she treated her advisement class to a pizza party. She had my college age son pick up the pizza and bring it to school at lunchtime. When he got to the front door of the school, he expected to have to ring in and wait for someone to come to the door. Instead, a couple of giggling middle-school girls looked out, saw him with pizza boxes, and ran to the door to open it and let him in (and to beg a slice.) These kids were totally oblivious to what had happened in Connecticut and the potential danger.

    So as she related the story to me this evening, I asked her how much talk among the students relating to the CT shooting. Her answer, none. And I think herein lies a problem. The kids have no sense of caution, no innate "spidey sense" that we have. The eyes and ears, the first line of defense intelligence wise, does not exist or does not register with these kids. All they care about is what was on MTV over the weekend. I doubt any of them saw the news or heard their parents discussing this matter.

    Honest to God, it frightens me how soft a target these schools are. How many pistols and spare mags could fit in a pizza box?

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    Well it quit interesting, but I think there is some rules and regulation which we should follow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom S View Post
    My wife is a middle school teacher in small city, midwest, USA. Today, she treated her advisement class to a pizza party. She had my college age son pick up the pizza and bring it to school at lunchtime. When he got to the front door of the school, he expected to have to ring in and wait for someone to come to the door. Instead, a couple of giggling middle-school girls looked out, saw him with pizza boxes, and ran to the door to open it and let him in (and to beg a slice.) These kids were totally oblivious to what had happened in Connecticut and the potential danger.

    So as she related the story to me this evening, I asked her how much talk among the students relating to the CT shooting. Her answer, none. And I think herein lies a problem. The kids have no sense of caution, no innate "spidey sense" that we have. The eyes and ears, the first line of defense intelligence wise, does not exist or does not register with these kids. All they care about is what was on MTV over the weekend. I doubt any of them saw the news or heard their parents discussing this matter.

    Honest to God, it frightens me how soft a target these schools are. How many pistols and spare mags could fit in a pizza box?
    Parents also try to protect their kids from the evil of the world, maybe sometimes even to a fault by keeping them in the dark about everything. I used to go to schools looking for employees, sometimes in plain clothes. It used to shock me the level of access I had to just walk around the school un-escorted.

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    What I learned about safety (from driving) is that it does not come naturally: to be safe while driving, or in any other situation, you have to condition yourself to do things and follow safe procedures that do not come naturally. For example, something as simple as keeping a safe following distance to the car in front of you: the natural thing is to tailgate and be oblivious to the danger, which is why unsafe drivers tend to do that. But it's not just that unsafe drivers are too "lazy" to follow safe procedures, it's that safe procedures require you to acknowledge, on some level, that driving is dangerous (and one of the characteristics of unsafe drivers is that they don't believe that driving is dangerous, and their belief is on openly on display, for all to see). The example of the pizza guy hiding weapons in the pizza box: I doubt many school children, or adults, are willing to think along those lines, because that would require an acknowledgment that the "security bubble" that they are used to can pop at any moment, and this realization would be uncomfortable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max K View Post
    What I learned about safety (from driving) is that it does not come naturally: to be safe while driving, or in any other situation, you have to condition yourself to do things and follow safe procedures that do not come naturally. For example, something as simple as keeping a safe following distance to the car in front of you: the natural thing is to tailgate and be oblivious to the danger, which is why unsafe drivers tend to do that. But it's not just that unsafe drivers are too "lazy" to follow safe procedures, it's that safe procedures require you to acknowledge, on some level, that driving is dangerous (and one of the characteristics of unsafe drivers is that they don't believe that driving is dangerous, and their belief is on openly on display, for all to see). The example of the pizza guy hiding weapons in the pizza box: I doubt many school children, or adults, are willing to think along those lines, because that would require an acknowledgment that the "security bubble" that they are used to can pop at any moment, and this realization would be uncomfortable.
    Many people do not ever THINK about things. Some safe driving things I learned from my dad were basic, as in "have a place to GO at all times". This leads on to feel uncomfortable riding alongside those humming tires on a semi trailer. Actual experience teaches you those tires are often retreaded, and can start dumping the retread at any time.

    But without some thought, and the urge to do better (live another day) I dunno....my wife is happy as a clam driving alongside that semi, lulled by the happy hum of those bog retreaded trailer tires, she will get the heck out of that spot when I protest.......but never really changes her basic behavior.

    I have a friend who worked over in the sandbox on some classified stuff used to neuter IED's in the electromagnetic communications department....he says that gave him some insight about packages and other things left in public places that many of us never give a second thought.

    I think for schools to have better security and awareness...somebody else will have to take care of than the present admin types. Most of the people who have done the evil things so far have not had the know how and ability to do as much damage as they would like to do....they lacked skills, or were compromised mentally.

    When a nutbag who is more competent and educated strikes the body count will be XX higher. This has happened overseas but not here yet in recent history.

    Bill
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    I recommend this article from 2010.

    http://www.policeone.com/active-shoo...emy-is-denial/

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    Quote Originally Posted by zigziggityzoo View Post
    I recommend this article from 2010.

    2058168-Active-shooters-in-schools-The-enemy-is-denial
    That was a good article. He strongly argued that the biggest problem is denial, and made some devastating comparisons between how the threat of a fire is handled compared to the threat of a mass-murderer. The most convincing of his arguments was that no child has died in a school fire in 50 years, because the threat of a school fire is taken seriously, unlike the threat of a mass-murderer, which is met with institutional denial and criminal-approved gun free zones.

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    I asked my captain if we should check the schools more often and maybe post an officer at the two elementry schools for a few days in case of a copy cat incident. He said no, no reason to. Apparently i work for " it can never happen here usa" police department. I spoke with my sgt and we are going to handle ourselves. Im so glad im leaving this freaking place.
    "Life is not about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving foward"- Rocky Balboa

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    When I was in high school it wasn't odd to see kids mounting scopes on hunting rifles in shop class and many of the pickups in the school parking lot had rifles/shotguns hung on racks against the back window.

    The Boomtown Rats "I don't like Mondays" played on the school jukebox during lunch recess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor View Post
    I asked my captain if we should check the schools more often and maybe post an officer at the two elementry schools for a few days in case of a copy cat incident. He said no, no reason to. Apparently i work for " it can never happen here usa" police department. I spoke with my sgt and we are going to handle ourselves. Im so glad im leaving this freaking place.
    I'd bet that your chef will standing at a poidiuem with a dum founded look on his face ii an event occurred in your town. That's the worst mind set to have. I don't think that our society is ready for armed personnel at every school, people complian about the airports. Thankfully I live in an our where deputies are at all th high schools with middle and elementary schools not to far away. By that's not a cure all.

    I don't think there is master plan to prevent a situation that occurred. But do what you have done and take it upon yourself to do patrol checks. Think of it as community relations,if every Leo on days hit up the schools in their area it would ea great thing.
    I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

    It should be noted that any and all post that are made or based on my own thought and opinions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor View Post
    I asked my captain if we should check the schools more often and maybe post an officer at the two elementry schools for a few days in case of a copy cat incident. He said no, no reason to. Apparently i work for " it can never happen here usa" police department. I spoke with my sgt and we are going to handle ourselves. Im so glad im leaving this freaking place.

    Meh...what about next week? The week after? Can't be everywhere.
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    The eyes and ears, the first line of defense intelligence wise, does not exist or does not register with these kids. All they care about is what was on MTV over the weekend. I doubt any of them saw the news or heard their parents discussing this matter.
    Their KIDS and thats where their interests should lie.As tough and merciless as this world has gotten,I dont think its unfair or even unreasonable to expect children to still want to be,think,talk and act like children.The obligation to come up woth a solution and deturrent for this evil type lies with the adult whos job it is to protect the child the same way it is the Secret Services job to protect the president with or without reasonable accommodation.Ofcourse some nesseccary talk and training should be given like the introduction of the fire drill after that horrible Chicago Catholic school fir 50 year ago but children should NOT be or expected to feel paranoid and nervous about every person or circumstance they encounter.

    Honest to God, it frightens me how soft a target these schools are. How many pistols and spare mags could fit in a pizza box?
    Back in July everyone was talking about how much a soft target movie theatres are,and several cinema companies hired extra security and put up signs about bag searches....then the noise over the Aurora shootings went down.There was a time when postal facilities were being targeted with frequency.The truth is in an open society as hours,malls,concerts,clubs,sporting venues,theatres,schools,libraries,office buildings,resteraunts etc etc any where can be a potential soft target where people are unsuspect of others around them and feel that they are in a potential safe setting.

    Anyone recall the Lakewood cafe shootings in 2009 where a gunman walked in and engaged and murded those 4 armed officers?

    The attitude of the law abiding and stable minded must change completely to meet the threat of the minds of the darranged.

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    Just as the mobster of the 1920's and gangster of the 1930's met the G-man and armed town mob the Active Shooter MUST meet the Active Defender.

    See right now what is really happening amongst the 10's of thousands of other potential ticking time bombs out there is inspiration.For each mass killer that successfully and without challenge carries out an attack on innocense others as sick as them arent only motivated but encouraged and emboldened to make their try.

    You cant get rid of guns,you cant get rid of the darranged so there is only one solution.A good counter move.Even if a well armed and trained person of minor authority like a crossing gaurd or a store manager number 1 in 10,the possibilty that an Active defender is there to engage an an active shooter increases dramatically.

    There needs to be so many incidents highlighted on the news where an active shooter tried to carry out a massacre but got stopped before or in their tracks by getting cut down in the same form in which the planned to murder their victims that it nearly matches the amount of incidents where active shooters have been successful.This WILL dampen the twisted morale of other potential monsters.They have to be forced to think twice and consider that if they do pull something like this there is a VERY good(as in better than 50%) chance their going to get blown away before they even get started good.
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    As we know, for the killer,all forms of terrorism,albeit bombing,plane hijacking,chemical weapons,mass shooting,assasination etc. is more about notoriety and sending a message that spreads shock,fear and panic to the masses than it is about the harming of the actual victims in each incident.

    Time to start sending messages back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yorkshire ripoff View Post
    Their KIDS and thats where their interests should lie.As tough and merciless as this world has gotten,I dont think its unfair or even unreasonable to expect children to still want to be,think,talk and act like children.
    Don't take candy from strangers, stop drop and roll, if someone touches you "there" tell an adult, etc. Abandon those too? It is not unreasonable to let children know at an early age, and certainly not unreasonable to expect middle schoolers to not open locked doors to strangers.

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    Gun free zones are going to be just that, law abiding gun free.

    Unless a gun free zone were to actually be enforce by building barricades and having armed officers screen everyone that comes and goes. The only people who would bring guns into the invisible boundaries of today's "Gun Free Zones" are police and criminals.

    But the gun debate is old, very old. I've personally posted my thoughts on gun free zones earlier this year.
    (Can't post URLs, requires 100 posts now , see my topic on "H.R. 2613: A bill to repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act". Also, the PopVox website is tracking any legislation related to guns/weapons that maybe used by Congress as a result of the tragic incident in CT.)

    However, the media and "public" do not care. They just focus on the implement used in these crimes. Instead of actually thinking of reasonable solutions to the problem.
    Last edited by Kigen; 12-20-2012 at 03:09 AM.
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    They're kids. Why should they know? You can teach them caution without painting them an evil picture.

    They saw someone who appeared to need help.. they opened the door for him. If not for the recent shooting, the more probable thread would be "Kids and manners" talking about how they just stand around and never help, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor View Post
    I asked my captain if we should check the schools more often and maybe post an officer at the two elementry schools for a few days in case of a copy cat incident. He said no, no reason to. Apparently i work for " it can never happen here usa" police department. I spoke with my sgt and we are going to handle ourselves. Im so glad im leaving this freaking place.
    Well, i don't know your captain, but I don't blame him for not over-reacting like most people are.

    There are 73,000 Public Elementary schools serving 24 MILLION children in this country. As Tragic as Sandy hook was, it was only one school, the odds of that happening any where any of us on this board can do something about it is a couple million times less than our chances of getting struck by lightening twice on a tuesday.

    Both my regular department and my reserve job are having us do stepped up "visibility" patrols because people are on edge because of Sandy Hook. I don't hesitate to tell people "yes, it was horrible and yes anywhere there are people, other more Evil people can strike which is why I'm in this uniform in the 1st place, but it's not LIKELY in any way shape or form".

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMyk View Post
    Well, i don't know your captain, but I don't blame him for not over-reacting like most people are.

    There are 73,000 Public Elementary schools serving 24 MILLION children in this country. As Tragic as Sandy hook was, it was only one school, the odds of that happening any where any of us on this board can do something about it is a couple million times less than our chances of getting struck by lightening twice on a tuesday.

    Both my regular department and my reserve job are having us do stepped up "visibility" patrols because people are on edge because of Sandy Hook. I don't hesitate to tell people "yes, it was horrible and yes anywhere there are people, other more Evil people can strike which is why I'm in this uniform in the 1st place, but it's not LIKELY in any way shape or form".


    I agree, but such a horrific crime has instilled fear into the large majority of parents. I know of a few parents who rushed and picked their kids up Will it go away? Sure, give it a couple weeks. But right now a lot of people are on edge. Things like more visible patrols gives the common person some re assurance. It's like a hug from someone... medically, it does nothing but it sure can make some people feel better. Same logic here.

    IF (I agree with you, a huge if) something were to happen, a copycat would be the most likely scenario. It happened right here in GA after Columbine.. I think it was Heritage High School.

    Not really gonna go into, but during my kid's performance at a place the other day, there was basically an intruder (it was very very apparent this person didn't belong)... it was dealt with quickly, but the fear in the eyes of some the parents was real. Was it a big deal to me? No, not at all... it was the type of person I've dealt with countless times, but to others it wasn't and irrational fear kicked in.

    So whatever a community can do to put people's minds and hearts at ease should be done.. if it's holding community meetings on school security, to gun legislation talk, to extra patrols, temporary SROs at elementary schools, then do it. Let the emotions run out and then the more rationale people can go from there and make the necessary decisions.

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    Well I think people need to put things in priority. If I had to guess I would say the most dangerous thing a child does every day is ride in a car or on a bus.

    1-4 years of age
    Leading causes of death
    Accidents (unintentional injuries)
    Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities
    5-14 years of age
    Leading causes of death
    Accidents (unintentional injuries)
    Cancer

    Bill
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom S View Post
    Don't take candy from strangers, stop drop and roll, if someone touches you "there" tell an adult, etc. Abandon those too? It is not unreasonable to let children know at an early age, and certainly not unreasonable to expect middle schoolers to not open locked doors to strangers.
    If you read ALL of what I said i clearly stated that there are some REASONABLE basic training methods that can be taught to kids for school safety.Then I clearly mentioned "like the fire drill" as an example.Like children could be told that if they here loud scary noises or see a scary man with a gun,its ok to run from the school as quickly as possible or break out a class room window.

    But what shouldnt be done to children especially pre-high school is that they are deliberatley baggered with briefings and images of what has happened and what might happen to the point where they are paranoid or traumatized about it.

    Remember the goal of terrorism(as this was) is to simply mentally sieze the emotions and fears of the masses,the trick is not to let it.

    I am not downplaying the Sandy Hook tragedy one bit but more children in the remainder of this year will be individually kidnapped,assaulted or worse by strangers than all the fatalities in that school and then some.

    Should every child be then afraid to go outside and play with their freinds or go to school?No

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    Quote Originally Posted by yorkshire ripoff View Post
    If you read ALL of what I said i clearly stated that there are some REASONABLE basic training methods that can be taught to kids for school safety.Then I clearly mentioned "like the fire drill" as an example.Like children could be told that if they here loud scary noises or see a scary man with a gun,its ok to run from the school as quickly as possible or break out a class room window.

    But what shouldnt be done to children especially pre-high school is that they are deliberatley baggered with briefings and images of what has happened and what might happen to the point where they are paranoid or traumatized about it.
    Kevin, if you had read ALL of what I said in my original post you had responded to, you would have know I was talking clearly about the lack of awareness that there was anything even going on in the world besides MTV. I guess you are probably too young to remember the Nuclear Detonation drills we used to do in school. You missed a rare exercise in paranoia there. And yes, I knew where the local fallout shelters were.

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    I think we're also missing a big piece of the puzzel.....PRIVATE schools.

    These schools never have SROs and have limited funding for security. My mom was a Catholic school teacher for 10 years before she quit to raise kids, and recently re-entered into the profession. I've been in the school and her classroom multiple times, and security is almost non-existent.

    There is no evacuation plan. There are no visible security measures. There is no training for the faculty to teach them how to indentify troubled students, or how to respond to verbal threats made inside or outside the classroom.

    In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, do you know what the school's response was? A phone call to parents. Oh, and visitors to the campus are now required to sign in at the office.

    I am in no way blaming the faculty for this. This Catholic school, along with most Catholic schools, lacks funding. The federal government should provide grants to schools like this so they can hire an SRO (in the form of an off-duty LEO or an ARMED security official.)

    In addition, these schools should make an effort to reach out to law enforcement. I'm sure the police would be more than happy to send someone out to this school and discuss active-shooter situations with the faculty and help develop a response plan. But right now, there is no plan.

    I'm not saying you should panic schools like this, but you should have a plan. Train for an active-shooter just like you train for a fire. Make it second nature to students and faculty.
    "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." - Martin Luther King, Jr

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    Some of the faculty at your Catholic School are gun owners already, let them bring guns to school, and no additional money is spent upon security personel.

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    The estimated cost of putting one fully-trained police officer at every PUBLIC school is $5 billion per year (And private schools here are on their own).

    The cost of allowing properly trained concealed carriers to carry in schools is nil.

    The cost of training school personnel who have concealed licenses in specific situational responses would be a tiny fraction of that $5 billion per year.

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