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Old 12-14-2012, 11:13 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by kwitcherkicken99 View Post
I'm with first grade this year (as a para). I had a group of 7 kids in my broom closet of a workroom when we had our lock down drill. A couple of them decided to snicker and cut up during the drill so we had a serious talk about how important it was to be absolutely quiet if we ever had to go through it again. I didn't go into specifics but I did tell them that the more quiet we were, the less likely anyone would try to get in our room if there was a bad guy in the school.
I travel now to various schools including a school for students with severe behavior problems that keep them from being able to go to a mainstream school. I was there with an elementary class for an intruder drill this year and all i can say is I hope that if God forbid something were to happen, they would act better tahn they did. They were laughing and bouncing.

I hate intruder drills. I know they are necessary, but I wish they weren't. With my littlest students, it's hard to impose upon them how serious it is without scaring the living daylights out of them. When I had the MR classroom I would tell the kids we were playing hide and seek with the principal and that we had to be very quiet because she is very good at finding us. With my current students who are of average IQ I just tell them we are practicing in case somebody bad was in the school and wanted to hurt us. I did have two students who were giggling during our drill at my elementary but we talked about and I think they get it. Sadly, I'm sure they will understand even more now.

As an elementary teacher, I used to feel comfort in the fact that these had only ever taken place at middle and high schools (and were always students). What is the world coming to when we can't even feel safe in an elementary school?
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:33 AM   #32
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Lockdown drills start with a code from the principal over the intercom. There are codes for intruders, active shooter and hostage situations. The kids know when they hear the announcement they get out of their seat and move toward the closets and walls where they can't be seen and they are away from glass. Doors locked, we sit silently until the drill is over.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:28 AM   #33
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This depends on the school - I never attended a school with deadbolts or anything close on the doors, or officers of any kind.

In general, I'd say if you're concerned, talk to the principal/head about the school's plans for such an event and what the teachers are meant to do and THEN discuss with your kids.
In high school - it was around the time when Littleton happened.

We had a specific plan for locking ourselves in a room and if possible - bracing ourselves in that room for as long as needed. A call to lock down was called to each room. No intercom - that would be too obvious and might give out specific information to an intruder. But in a situation like today - I bet they would use the intercom. Usually, it would just be something that would say there was an external concern - like an escaped inmate - and we would lock all the doors and we would get an extended study break.

But if there was an intruder, we were instructed to do the following - if we had time:

Our first floor classrooms had a wall of glass, and when we drilled in those rooms, we were to get as many of the bookshelves and move them to cover the windows, lock the wooden door, and then we were to throw as many of the desks against that and hide and be still - with the lights off.

If you had a closet in the room - students were to go in there as well. And be as quiet and still as possible, in the dark.

When I was in choir - it was a huge open air room, with risers, and with glass windows. We were all to go straight in to the choir directors office and hide there - even though he had glass so he could watch us if he had to go take a call, we were to get down low and to start pushing the furniture up against the doors and to start hiding under as much crap as we could find. Basically - barricading ourselves in there again, after locking up the choir room. That why a shooter would have to go through at least two empty rooms to get to us. He told us to do whatever we had to do block that door.

If the entire choir was in there - they would have to stay in his office and hope that being against the wall would keep them safe. But I was in honor / show choir, so we were able to fit in his closet. Other areas of the school had other protocol, but it mainly just focused on getting low and in areas where you couldn't be seen or in a non-windowed room that could be locked (like a bathroom or gym storage area), darkening the area and locking it, and staying low. But glass was a huge issue for my scheduled classes so we had to do the above.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:41 AM   #34
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We just moved and my kids attend a school that has all outdoor classrooms. It's a very interesting school. Anyway, I'm not sure what they do at our new school.

I have the opinion that the principal or some other qualified worker should have a gun. Maybe if that principal at the elementary school had a gun she could have stopped him and saved a lot of lives.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:53 AM   #35
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I work in a high school. Just yesterday morning we had a parent get very angry at the gal who monitors the front desk. We require that every visitor sign in and get a badge. He complained that his tax dollars funded her salary. I would be very curious to know if his attitude changed at all after the event in CT.

We actually had an active shooter drill a couple of weeks ago. It was on a non-school day, but students were asked to come in and volunteer for the drill. We were only working with less than 20% of the student body, but the "casualties" were fairly significant.

I know the administration and law enforcement that were involved thought it was a tremendous learning experience. In my estimation, it just proved how completely vulnerable we are in the school. I'm not real sure what we could do to improve things. It's a 41 year old building, it was built long before anyone ever thought about school shootings.

The other thing I realized is that to survive an active shooter situation is luck of the draw. I rotate between classrooms during the day and the time that was picked for the drill is the time when I am in one of the safest classrooms in the building. I was lucky in that I couldn't even hear the "gunfire" where I was. If they had set the drill for the next class period, I probably would have been right in the line of fire.

It's truly horrible that we are even discussing this and that schools need to practice what to do in the event of an armed intruder. My heart is heavy with sadness. Obviously the young man was very disturbed and we'll never know why he chose to do this.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:02 AM   #36
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All the rooms I've been in from grade school on up had the capability of being locked & most were pretty sturdy doors. We had no resource officer in my day, still don't at grade school level. And the HS one is shared by the middle school, so he may not even be on hand.

I guess I grew up in a simpler time. It wasn't unusual to see pickups with gunracks (and guns) in our parking lot in high school, and a pocket knife wasn't considered a "weapon" unless it opened to 9" overall length or more.
LOL, Missouri you grew up in redneck country.I was in North County where kids brought guns & knives to school and kids were threatened or assaulted daily. We had armed police back then in the schools.

Where I live now they have an full time armed officer for every middle and high school. Grade school is shared.

Heck, the east side of Detroit (I am talking 6 mile for the Michiganders), where my extended family lived in the 70's was super bad in the schools. Stabbings were so common back then.

Location, location, location....

Bottom line all of that was internal stuff and this is external. Hard to combat that.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:21 AM   #37
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LOL, Missouri you grew up in redneck country.:lmao:I was in North County where kids brought guns & knives to school and kids were threatened or assaulted daily. We had armed police back then in the schools.

Where I live now they have an full time armed officer for every middle and high school. Grade school is shared.

Heck, the east side of Detroit (I am talking 6 mile for the Michiganders), where my extended family lived in the 70's was super bad in the schools. Stabbings were so common back then.

Location, location, location....

Bottom line all of that was internal stuff and this is external. Hard to combat that.
Yeah, I taught about 15 years ago, but I used to ask my students to go talk to their grandparents and to older people in the community about the school. What they invariably came back with was "wow! School is soooo much safer now! No one gets shot or stabbed in schoolyard fights. We haven't had any riots that we know of!"

I don't think there ever were Good Ole Days except in our memories.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:37 AM   #38
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I travel now to various schools including a school for students with severe behavior problems that keep them from being able to go to a mainstream school. I was there with an elementary class for an intruder drill this year and all i can say is I hope that if God forbid something were to happen, they would act better tahn they did. They were laughing and bouncing.

I hate intruder drills. I know they are necessary, but I wish they weren't. With my littlest students, it's hard to impose upon them how serious it is without scaring the living daylights out of them. When I had the MR classroom I would tell the kids we were playing hide and seek with the principal and that we had to be very quiet because she is very good at finding us. With my current students who are of average IQ I just tell them we are practicing in case somebody bad was in the school and wanted to hurt us. I did have two students who were giggling during our drill at my elementary but we talked about and I think they get it. Sadly, I'm sure they will understand even more now.

As an elementary teacher, I used to feel comfort in the fact that these had only ever taken place at middle and high schools (and were always students). What is the world coming to when we can't even feel safe in an elementary school?
I used to teach K-1 special ed. We kept red cellophane and a few bags of marshmallows. We'd crouch in the corner away from the doors/windows and crumple up the cellophane and tell them it was a campfire, then whisper stories around it and bribe the kid with the marshmallows.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:44 AM   #39
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In my elementary school (where I taught for 17 years) we didn't even have doors to individual classrooms. They were open to a common hall. There was a door that locked to each group of classrooms. The hall was a large U with locking doors on each end. About 20 classrooms were in a group.

We had been told to question anyone we saw without a specific ID label that contained their picture clearly visible on their chest. One day, I saw a rather large gentleman quickly looking in my classroom then moving on. I stepped out of the room and politely asked the gentleman to see his name badge. He pulled out a district security identification and a gift card for $100. He said, "You win the prize." He had been in the building for 20 minutes with principal, but not front office knowledge, and had even carried 2 computers from empty rooms to his car. I was the first person to stop or even talk to him.

So much for people following procedures!
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:17 AM   #40
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My area schools have a buzzer system where all doors are locked and you push a button and the office lets you in and you then go to office (which are located right by the door) to show ID and get a visitor pass. The rest of the school is open to the front doors, so there is no other locked door to get let in through and you could get buzzed in and go right past the office and start shooting up the place. I am sure there is a camera and if you are in camo and carrying weapons or a large gun-sized case, they won't buzz you in (but you could do like this guy did and shoot/break out a window and let yourself in). I think there should be an armed officer (our HS has an officer, but not sure if she is armed...our MS and ES do not have an officer). I think there should also be a second set of locked doors with no windows that once you get a visitor pass from the office, you can get buzzed past the second set of doors.

I told my girls (twins almost 14) to try to escape if something was going on at their school and if they could not escape then they need to hide and be quiet (and if, god forbid, they were shot they need to play dead). I also told them not to worry about doing something that would make the teachers mad (like running out of the classroom, that they'd need to do whatever it took to be safe and not worry about getting into trouble...that they also should use their cell and not worry about getting in trouble for that). I also wonder if instead of blocking windows, if they should try and escape out of the windows (I think they did that at Columbine). In all the school shootings, the shooters were in the school and not sniper-like outside of the school (except the young Jonesboro killers who shot from the woods as the school exited the building after they pulled a fire alarm).

I am worried with my girls' school as they had a student who wrote an assignment at school where she said she wanted to kill certain students. She is an odd girl and I think she got made fun of a lot and wanted to kill those who made fun of her most. She is still at the school and sits next to my DD in one of her classes. I guess zero tolerance is a farce. There were police cars at the school this Monday when we dropped our kids off and the principal sent an e-mail saying there was an incident over the weekend involving some students and that they could not go into any other details. My DDs came home and said that a boy had sent some message over the weekend (FB or text) that he was bringing a gun to school to shoot someone. I am wondering why the school could not give us that info and I truly hope, in light of these recent events, this kid is expelled (even though our district has a policy that they cannot expel a kid until they are 16).

I also think that overcrowding is the biggest problem our public schools face. It is the cause of many issues from not being able to quash bullying to not being able to provide the best education to EVERY student to nut jobs being able to get into our schools and shoot them up. If we had small community schools where the teachers/staff could really know each and every student and there could be a better security system, it really is the answer...but we (our society) doesn't want to put forth the funds to make this happen. I home school my DS and would love to do the same with my DDs...if I could afford the best private school, I would have my kids in it.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:20 AM   #41
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My one child goes to an K-8 elemetary school. They have lockdown drills pretty regularly along with fire drills. I asked DS9 what to do and he knew exactly the procedure. I asked DS15 who went there last year if they had codes words and they do not or he was not aware of any.

I am a volunteer there and have never been there for lockdown drills but I have been there for fire drills and have followed all the kids out. There is a sign in the one room where we empty our folders that gets sent home with the kids. It specifically tells you what to do in a lockdown drill, go to the neareast classroom and be locked in with the kids. I did some training this year and I made sure the ladies I trained knew what to do. I dont think we take into account nonstaff that could be in the building for whatever reason.

DS15 goes to a HS with many different buildings. He says they have had one fire drill, that is it.


I also think our children our vulnerable when they go outside to play, or in the case of the HS if they need to go outside to change classes.

I think it is hard to predict every scenario. This school did buzz people in, but the shooter shot out the door. If it was guns, he could have strapped a bomb to his body, esp if the plan was to kill himself as well. I think we need to reevaluate the plans going forward for all schools but I just dont think we can predict every scenario and have everyone be safe, too many variables.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:21 AM   #42
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Here's my suggestion. Lets build safer schools.


Since most schools are ranches. Why not put individual safe rooms below each classroom. Yes I know there are kids in wheelchairs but in extreme situations I am sure s couple of kids could be carried down. It's great to lock a door, it'd be awesome to become invisible.

Also each classroom should be hard wired for emergency. Instead of someone having to call 911 the could just push one if 3 buttons: police fire ambulance. Many valuables minutes are lost in emergencies during phone calls.

Finally. Ever school should have one central double entry door. The first door can be glass to get people out of the elements while waiting to be cleared. The inner door can be 2 inch thick steel.

I don't want up arm teachers Israel style. However it would not be wrong to steal some of their building ideas. You could also have a center courtyard for recess. I am sure I can think if more but you get the idea.

I used to work as a lifeguard in an inner city Chicago pool. At the time the neighborhood was in the middle of a gang war. Whenever shots started we went one of two places. If we were on deck or in the lifeguard chair, we went in the water preferably below. We weren't the targets, just possible crossfire and unless someone was specifically shouting down we'd be safe. Not to mention that water slows down acceleration. Or if we were close to our locker room we went into the open air shower area. The shower room was an inner room which meant any bullets would have to penetrate 3-4 layers of cinder block. We heard shots daily. Luckily we were always safe. The kids in the neighborhood grew up this way and had street smarts which could transfer into a higher level survival skills in a shooting situation. I moved to a better neighborhood so my child would not have to live this way. Lately it seems like it doesn't matter.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:29 AM   #43
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I realize there are situations that could never be imagined and therefore never prepared for.

Our schools have fire drills, tornado drills and "lock down" drills which essentially just means they lock all the doors and don't permit anyone in the hallways.

So, I'm wondering, how can we realistically talk to our children about what to do if there is a shooter in the school? What should we tell them to do? What are the schools telling them to do? Anything?
Look into the A.L.i.C.E program. In short it is training for teachers, administration and STUDENTS in enhanced "lock down." It is a different approach to just sitting there and waiting for your turn to be shot by an active shooter. It is somewhat controversial because in some cases (last resort), it encourages kids to fight back if they are trapped with no way out.

A shooter has only one objective. To kill as many as possible. This program teaches ways to cut down the casualties in an active shooter scenario.

I would encourage ALL schools to at least look into the training.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:40 AM   #44
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Here's my suggestion. Lets build safer schools.


Since most schools are ranches. Why not put individual safe rooms below each classroom. Yes I know there are kids in wheelchairs but in extreme situations I am sure s couple of kids could be carried down. It's great to lock a door, it'd be awesome to become invisible.

Also each classroom should be hard wired for emergency. Instead of someone having to call 911 the could just push one if 3 buttons: police fire ambulance. Many valuables minutes are lost in emergencies during phone calls.

Finally. Ever school should have one central double entry door. The first door can be glass to get people out of the elements while waiting to be cleared. The inner door can be 2 inch thick steel.

I don't want up arm teachers Israel style. However it would not be wrong to steal some of their building ideas. You could also have a center courtyard for recess. I am sure I can think if more but you get the idea.

I used to work as a lifeguard in an inner city Chicago pool. At the time the neighborhood was in the middle of a gang war. Whenever shots started we went one of two places. If we were on deck or in the lifeguard chair, we went in the water preferably below. We weren't the targets, just possible crossfire and unless someone was specifically shouting down we'd be safe. Not to mention that water slows down acceleration. Or if we were close to our locker room we went into the open air shower area. The shower room was an inner room which meant any bullets would have to penetrate 3-4 layers of cinder block. We heard shots daily. Luckily we were always safe. The kids in the neighborhood grew up this way and had street smarts which could transfer into a higher level survival skills in a shooting situation. I moved to a better neighborhood so my child would not have to live this way. Lately it seems like it doesn't matter.
Where would the money come for that? Not to turn this political, but some school districts barely have enough money to buy books or replace heaters etc. Schools are cutting necessary resources as it is. I dont think the money is there to build all safer schools in communities.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:46 PM   #45
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Where would the money come for that? Not to turn this political, but some school districts barely have enough money to buy books or replace heaters etc. Schools are cutting necessary resources as it is. I dont think the money is there to build all safer schools in communities.
True, I also think a sturdy door with a lock would be just as effective as the safe rooms and easier to secure.
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