Making Things Worse

I thought that I was done with my two cents efforts on the topic of arming teachers.  I think I summed my feelings up nicely in a post I called “Why You Wouldn’t Want to Arm Me“.  My feelings have not changed, for the record.

Today, I read this story “600 Teachers Apply to Learn How to Shoot a Gun at School” which brought the whole thing back to the forefront of my mind.  Do we really want wild west justice dished out in the halls of our schools?  I think about my old classroom.  Right across the hall was the Marketing Classroom.  Our doors were immediately opposite.  I just had visions of taking a shot at someone in the doorway, missing, and the bullet going across the hall into that classroom.

From there, the walls are cinder blocks.  With any luck, a bullet might hit a block right on and get stuck in the block.  But, it could bounce on a crazy angle and then it’s in a classroom with students.  Or, I might hit the metal door that was always open on an angle and it take off from there.  Do these plans that include putting guns into schools take into consideration that there may be people hit by “friendly fire”?  Does “friendly fire” somehow make it better?

What could be worse than stray gunfire bouncing inside a classroom or down a hallway?

I know – bring in the lawyers!

Also in the news this week was this story “Newtown Lawsuit Withdrawn—for Now“.  Absolutely no one can imagine the pain and anguish that the students who survived the incident must feel.  The original lawsuit indicated that the school district should have seen foreseeable harm.

What’s next?  Do we sue because a teacher is a bad shot and should have been able to hit her target?

The fallout of such a tragedy should be a discussion about realistic ways to stop this from ever happening again.  If having a police officer on site is an option, that could make sense.  After all, there are hundreds of citizens inside any school building during school hours.  I like the tack that the Ontario Government is taking with locked door policies.

Let’s not aim for a solution with the potential of making things worse.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

There were some interesting things up for reading recently in Ontario Edublogs.

Glen Cairn Public School
This may well be one of the most important blog posts I’ve read recently.  It’s also a message for school and system administrators.  In the light of the event at Sandy Hook Elementary School, principal Shannon Smith reached out to her community assuring them of the safety issues at her school.

Obviously, you’ve got to appreciate a principal who is concerned about her community, but the message continues the promise that she made to use social media to keep parents informed.  She could have left it to her school district to do something on its website or perhaps used a robo phonecalling service but this approach was quick and decisive to reach out to all in advance of students coming back to school.


Brandon Grasley took the plunge and joined Danika Barker and Colin Jagoe in an conversation.  Of course, the really interesting part was that he shared his thoughts on doing so from being creepy to appreciative.

The Days before Christmas Break

I elected to grab three snippets from classroom teachers.  It’s not been an easy time to be a teacher in the province this fall.  As the school year heads into the Christmas Break, I think that these three posts show the professionalism that happens in Ontario classrooms all the time.  In the supposed “real world”, things wind down before holidays.

There may be a party at the office, some beverages served to kick off the holidays and some places even close early.  Not so in education.  Every minute counts.  Here are some examples.

Living. laughing and learning in P1

Northern Art Teacher

Changing Views

As always, some great blogging efforts from Ontario Educators.  Check them out at the links above or the complete collection at the LiveBinder site here.

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