Thursday, March 24, 2005

A shot in the crowd

Yesterday, at the high school, the students were not to go to 1st period when they arrived at the school. They were to go to their homerooms (they call it 'advisory' ?). There were about 30 or so students in the foyer at one particular time, when someone thought it would be a great joke to stomp a milk carton. You remember that from high school, right ? You drink your milk, close the carton, fold over the top, put it on the floor, and stomp. It produces a large popping sound. The students in the foyer all screamed. Several of my students were there. One told me that he thought WP (the kid arrested for plotting to kill students and teachers) had came into the school and had began shooting. It was humorous and scary at the same time.

Kids should not be at school wondering if someone is going to open fire at any time.

Ask me what the answer is. Go ahead, ask me.

I do not have a clue. The security guard and metal detectors did not stop the shootings in Minnesota. At the school itself, the security guard was the first one shot. It is deplorable that kids have to learn, while worried that their lives might be at risk. I know, from talking to my students, they do not dwell on it all the time, but it is in the back of their minds, always. I do not think about it while I teach. I do not think about it when I reprimand a student. I can't. If I dwell on it, I lose my effectiveness as a teacher. I have to maintain control of the class. I have to have control in the lab. If I have to worry that every student that I caution about safety glasses or horseplay is going to come back tomorrow and shoot me and students, I would go home now and never return.

The answer is consistency. I will come to this school, every day it is open. I will teach every day I am here. I will maintain order and allow my students the safety of learning. I am the first line of education.

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