27 August 2009

100 Issue for 100 Days: #11

#11: Bowled Over

Yesterday we did a training on emergency procedures for our school. First of all, I'm glad our school even has a procedure. I know many don't and the ones that do barely practice it, but that doesn't take away from the fact that emergency procedures have come to encompass so much more than they used to. In addition to contingency plans for airplanes falling on the school (I know. Apparently it happened to a co-worker), there's now the ever-pressing possibility that an intruder or a student might enter the school with a gun.

One of the things that I've learned is that schools spend tons of money on fire safety yet the amount of school fire deaths is next to nothing each year. This is while school violence and violence related deaths rises by 300% each decade. And what many project is that these school shootings are only a precursor to future shootings in the workplace. School shootings have moved from middle school, to high school and college. This makes perfect sense because for kids, school is their workplace and if they aren't able to handle the emotional and physical stress of high school, what's going to happen when there are paychecks, bills and potential offspring involved?

It's hard to believe that this is the reality of the American school system but it is. We now have to practice "lockdowns" and think about how we would react if a gunman managed to make it into our room or if a tanker flipped over near the school. It's good to be prepared but mainly I'm just bowled over.

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