Comment Of The Day: “Life Competence, Social Media, And Crisis Situations”

Night commenter Zanshin—he is one of the participants whose commentary frequently greets me in the morning–delivered a fascinating exercise expanding on my post about students in crisis situations defaulting to texting and social media rather than actively considering survival and defense alternatives.  He was responding to yeoman commentator Chris, a teacher, who appeared to take deep offense at my suggestion that the texts of the Stoneman High School students reflected an unhealthy obsession with electronic devices rather than a healthy acculturation in self-reliance and fortitude in the face of danger.

I’ll mention here what I have said in the relevant comment thread: I know the issue flagged by commenter (and also a teacher)  Andrew Myette was not the one I wrote about based on the link he sent me, but my job is to get everyone thinking about values and ethics even when it hurts, and I knew this angle would be especially uncomfortable to explore.

Here is Zanshin’s Comment of the Day on the post, Life Competence, Social Media, And Crisis Situations:

I can’t speak for Jack, but I sure can come up with,

a specific action the students could have taken that had a strong likelihood of being a better alternative than staying where they were.

Disclaimer 1. The text below is a possible scenario for a fictitious class involved in a school shooting. This is in no way intended to criticize schools, teachers, students and others who have been confronted with real school shootings.

One specific action could be … Oh, this is so good; this one is for you Chris … Haven’t you seen MacGyver? I believe he was part of (y)our generation. He would be so proud of this fictitious class who by relying on their unconventional problem-solving skills saved not only theirs but also other lives.

The teacher and about 5 of the strongest kids, may be members of the wrestling club, and yes, someone like Mack Beggs, who was born female and is transitioning to male while taking steroids, can also participate.

The entrance, the closed door is the one spot where one can get very close to the shooter if he/she tries to get in. That’s his/her vulnerable spot.
So, the other kids hide in the safest spot. But the ‘welcoming committee’ stands on both sides of the door. With all the weapons and shields they can garner. Sticks and stones, a sharpened pencil, a can with hot water, pepper spray may be, certainly some chairs and tables. [I am here assuming the door opens to the outside.] On one side of the door you stack a few tables with one of the smaller kids on top with the can of hot water or a bag with the content of the waste bucket or what-ever one can throw on him from above (and that will not endanger the attackers on the ground).

On the other side of the entrance one of the kids has a broom.

The doors open, as the shooter takes the first step across the threshold the kid on top of the stacked tables throws what he has over the shooter. The kid with the broom wipes the legs of the shooter under his body with a big sweep. They throw chairs and tables and what-have-you on him. The bully of the class jumps on the shooter with the baseball bat (If he gets shot, it is sad, very sad, but (a) the other children of the class had voted him/her to be the vanguard volunteer and (b) it is his/her chance to redeem him-/herself for all his/her past misdeeds.)

Well the rest would be (literally) history.

For added bonus points….

a. One of the kids could from the diagonal corner of the door (but never the corner where the other kids are hiding) distract the attention of the shooter by making as much noise as possible.
b. One kid could be appointed to document the whole action using the video camera on his smart phone; may be using something like Facebook Live or Periscope; Instead that, in line with Neil Postman’s “The Huxleyan Warning”, the school kids become an audience and their slaughtering a vaudeville act, they become producers of their own heroes movie; a revival of America’s values is a clear possibility.

Chris also wrote in a previous comment,

After all, you’ve had weeks to think about it, from the safety and comfort of your home, without the adrenaline, chaos and confusion that these kids faced. So tell me: what should their plan have been?

And he is right, the above scenario demands the utmost creativity, willingness to cooperate, and the willingness to sacrifice one’s life. In other words, as apple pie as American values are/used to be.

So some preparation beyond the official lock down drill is advisable.

As a teacher, one could prepare by:

a. thinking through scenarios like the one above but tailored to your own situation;
b. know your students from this perspective. Ask yourself questions like, who are strong? who can one trust with a difficult task? whom of the girls is transitioning and taking steroids? who is the bully of the class? which kids are specially gifted and need to be as much out of harms way as possible? et cetera;
c. make sure you have stuff in your CSB (class survival bag) fitting this and other scenarios. In any case, things that can be used as a weapon and are at the same time (legally) allowed to have with you;
(An example of such an item could be a CD disc. If you break it in two, you have two very sharp pointed weapons.)
d. discuss with your class the concept of OODA loop developed by military strategist and United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd;
e. Read together and discuss the 1989 novelA Prayer for Owen Meany by American writer John Irving.

Chris, in again another comment, referred to a comment of crella. She wrote, referring to people on the planes on 9/11 who wrote letters to their families,

Fight, flight, or Tweet

Before 9/11 the official stated policy was that it was very wrong for crew and passengers to fight with terrorists who hijacked their plane.

The assumptions underpinning this policy were that,

a. hijacking took time. Hijacked planes had to land somewhere, there would be some negotiations, a hijacking could take several days.
b. in many occurrences most passengers would survive. Sometimes there was a shoot out but also many times a release of all (/most) people aboard;
c. the hijackers were somewhat to reason with because they also wanted to get out alive;
d. the officials were best equipped to handle these situations.

After 9/11 it became crystal clear that these assumptions are obsolete.

That’s why in several situations passengers on planes, trains and automobiles took action. See for instance 15:17 to Paris Clint Eastwood’s latest movie where three Americans stopped a terrorist attack on a French train in 2015.

Well, the same is true for school shootings,

a. a school shooting is, depending on the kind of weapon and the amount of ammunition the shooter brought with him/her, over within 5-10 minutes?
b. most (real) school shootings don’t end very well; a very high casualty rate;
c. most of the shooters keep killing until killed;
d. one thing the Florida school shooting teaches us is that we can’t rely on officials like FBI and local police.

Therefore, as in hijackings by terrorists, teachers and students have to take matters in their own hands; and thereby ultimately risking their own lives.

So, in the above scenario there is certainly a risk that kids would die. But they would only act if the shooter tried to get into their class room, thereby elevating the situation to the Fight-stage (The current training by the Federal Government distinguishes three stages: Run, Hide, Fight).

In that case the option is 0-3 kids (probably including the class bully) die as heroes vs. all (25-30?) kids die as ignorant sheep — not even knowing who killed them because they were busy texting.

Disclaimer 2. I have quoted and paraphrased parts of comments by other commenters. By using their texts I do not imply that the original commenters agree with this comment.

Disclaimer 3. I have not properly referenced all the quotes I have used/paraphrased because it would take away of the flow of my comment and the quotes are easily traceable to the original comments. If you recognize my usage of a part of your comment and you want recognition for it, let me know and I will acknowledge the said so being the case.

 

82 Comments

Filed under Character, Childhood and children, Comment of the Day, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Social Media, The Internet, U.S. Society

82 responses to “Comment Of The Day: “Life Competence, Social Media, And Crisis Situations”

  1. Chris

    I feel like the main premise here–that teachers and students should make an effort to be prepared to fight off a shooter if it comes down to it–is unquestionable. Of course they should. But I don’t think that is mutually exclusive to also texting loved ones for information and/or last words. Both can happen. I don’t know if both did happen at Parkland, but if it didn’t, it wasn’t because kids were “too busy” texting.

    I have a few issues, though, Zanshin.

    Where do you think teachers would get hot water from? Most don’t have coffeemakers in their room–that’s usually in the breakroom. Some do have their own. Pepper spray? You’re joking. Illegal to bring on a school campus, for obvious reasons. Hats off to the as-of-now completely hypothetical teacher who illegally brings pepper spray every day but would only ever use it to stop a school shooter, but in the real world, it’s much more likely to end up something like this:

    http://www.newswest9.com/story/36379012/ecisd-police-investigating-after-teacher-uses-pepper-spray-on-students-to-break-up-fight

    As for this…

    The bully of the class jumps on the shooter with the baseball bat (If he gets shot, it is sad, very sad, but (a) the other children of the class had voted him/her to be the vanguard volunteer and (b) it is his/her chance to redeem him-/herself for all his/her past misdeeds.)

    WHAAAAAAT. That’s horrifying. What teacher in their right mind would make kids vote to determine who has to take the biggest risk in confronting a mass shooter? You take volunteers, or you psych the biggest kids up to get them to step forward. You don’t descend into Lord of the Flies or Hunger Games territory. What happens if that kid survives? That’s not a redemption, that’s a humiliation, and a further trauma on top of the shooting. What if that’s your kid? You’re gonna keep him in class with the teacher who said “Hey kids, let’s vote on who the biggest jerk is in class and make him attack the shooter, because it won’t be as sad if he dies!” What’s really strange to me is that this was your response to a post of mine in which I bemoaned someone else’s lack of empathy…

    • Chris Marschner

      Reply to Chris

      That begs the question of empathy. Which students lack sufficient empathy to allow another student to mow down their classmates if they have an opportunity to overwhelm a shooter. Obviously it is better for the teacher to take that risk but if he or she doesn’t that does not preclude another from stepping up unless they feel their life is more important than all others.

      Coach Feiss showed courage and empathy.

      The question we all need to be prepared to answer is are we willing to lose our life to save many more? If not then we should be estopped from making demands on others.

    • Greg

      Chris, I think you’re missing the joke. Much of Zanshin’s comment is obviously tongue-in-cheek. There’s no time for the class to vote on who should die. You, as the teacher, will have to make that decision. Zanshin suggests the bully, unless he is specially gifted, in which case the others must die for him.

      Just a point that has been driving me crazy about the arming-teachers debate. Opponents seem to focus on the absurdity of expecting teachers to form hunter-killer packs to search out and destroy the shooter, because they are likely to lack the courage and training to do so. But the most likely scenario is this one: the teacher hiding with his students who is forced to shoot when the killer tries to enter his classroom. That doesn’t take much courage or training, just a normal instinct for survival.

      • Zanshin

        Greg wrote,
        Zanshin suggests the bully, unless he is specially gifted, in which case the others must die for him.
        This is a correct, logical conclusion of what I wrote. I would like to add that if the bully’s special gift is bullying that shouldn’t count

      • Chris

        Greg,

        I initially suspected it could be a joke, but most of it seemed to be serious suggestions, so I wasn’t sure.

        Opponents seem to focus on the absurdity of expecting teachers to form hunter-killer packs to search out and destroy the shooter, because they are likely to lack the courage and training to do so. But the most likely scenario is this one: the teacher hiding with his students who is forced to shoot when the killer tries to enter his classroom. That doesn’t take much courage or training, just a normal instinct for survival.

        I haven’t seen opponents even bring up the former scenario. The most common objection I’ve seen, and which I agree with, is the danger of teachers carrying guns at school. There have been multiple instances of teachers’ guns going off by accident or being left somewhere. And then of course yesterday a teacher barricaded himself in a classroom with a gun and the school had to be evacuated.

        • joed68

          “You’ll shoot an eye out with that thing!”
          Guns don’t just go off by accident without human intervention. Ever. As far as leaving them somewhere: obviously, that’s gross negligence, and it’s fairly easy to keep a handgun securely bolstered to one’s person and NOT leave it anywhere. I have complete faith in a teacher’s ability to do this. The deterrent value would be incalculable, and no, it wouldn’t be the “O.K. Corral”, as so many people with zero experience in shooting situations are so fond of saying. Believe me, your odds of surviving a scenario like this are significantly improved if someone in your perimeter is armed, even if they’re not a distinguished expert pistol shot.

          • joed68

            Securely Holstered, NOT Bolstered.

          • Chris

            I have complete faith in a teacher’s ability to do this.

            I’m sorry, I just think it’s deeply funny that conservatives have finally found the one thing they trust public schoolteachers to do.

            • I’ve had teachers who would be a serious risk to shoot the students. Not joking. Maybe some nuns, too…(okay, that’s a joke)

              • Chris

                At least you are consistent on this–your distrust of teachers extends to their ability to handle firearms on campus.

            • Chris wrote, “I just think it’s deeply funny that conservatives have finally found the one thing they trust public schoolteachers to do.”

              To be fair, I think your confusing this a little bit; for the most part, it’s not necessarily the individual teachers themselves that are are mistrusted, it’s the morphed, or morphing education system that they are part of that is not trusted and unfortunately teachers are on the front lines of that therefore they take the brunt of that perceived mistrust.

            • joed68

              Keeping a handgun securely bolstered on one’s person is something even a schoolteacher can consistently and reliably accomplish.

          • Conservatives have a (well deserved) mistrust of progressive education initiatives (propaganda,) not a mistrust of individual teachers. Since we believe in the content of one’s character (unlike progressives) each teacher is a unique case.

            Many teachers have weapons training, and thus can be trusted with a gun in the classroom, once they pass any rules the district chooses to mandate.

            No one says teachers HAVE to carry: only that we allow those who VOLUNTEER to do so, once those safeguards are satisfied.

    • A tangential comment from a tangential mind tangentially relevant:

      Chris wrote: You don’t descend into Lord of the Flies or Hunger Games territory.

      Golding’s exploration in Lord of the Flies is that that such ‘descent’, from his Christian perspective, best describes our own descended condition. The book has been seen as a didactic moral tale.

      • Yes, Golding’s Lord of the Flies is an allegory about the Fall and the Fallen Condition.

        But it works so well as an analogy to many other topics precisely because the setting and characters of his work seem perfectly believable if it were not an allegory.

        • I wouldn’t have described it as corresponding specifically to The Fall. That comparison doesn’t really work so well: no girls there! Cain & Abel might fit.

          It has more to do that children imitate the behavior of the adults. And in the end the adults scold the children who have only acted as a mirror.

    • Still Spartan

      Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.

    • I have to ask, Chris… are we supposed to be upset or horrified by what you linked, with regards to pepper spray? I mean, you post it like it’s proving a point, but what I’m seeing is a perfectly reasonable escalation of force to stop two students fighting.

      You try yelling at them to stop. They don’t. You and a bunch of other teachers try restraining them, but this doesn’t work (not entirely surprising, since you’ve probably never been taught how to). Eventually, someone pepper sprays them. The fight stops.

      In reality, this is was probably safer for all participants then letting the fight continue until police could arrive, and letting the police taze the combatants.

  2. joed68

    Oh! Is Chris sulking?

  3. joed68

    Hey Chris, I’ve personally been in situations where bullets were flying, and I wholeheartedly agree with Jack; that they should have been doing any of a number of things besides engaging with their smartphones. Common sense still applies in these situations; maybe more so.

  4. joed68

    I had a similar experience with teacher-absolute -moral-authority during a conversation about this shooting and the 2A. Of course, my position is that all of these feel-good knee-jerk responses, like another “assault-weapon” ban, or bump-stock ban, or even an all-out gun ban, isn’t going to amount to a hill of compost in having a meaningful impact on gun violence, might just make it worse in fact, and then there’s the whole purpose of the 2A, a means of preventing an absolute monopoly on deadly force by our government, being conveniently ignored. To this, I heard “well I’m a teacher, hear me speak!”, and the whole gamut of leftist gun-control canards and constitution-shredding wet-dreams followed, ended by “and YOU, sir, and your NRA masters, are AIDING AND ABETTING school shooters!”. The really funny thing is that, when I brought up the fact that the cops (39 calls to the Cruz residence?) and FBI severely screwed the pooch on this, and why is it that we’re not discussing measures that might actually work, like putting armed cops in schools, she balked, and rattled off yet more leftist insanity about how little criminals were getting their Wall Street prospects dashed because they were getting caught engaging in their criminality!
    Yet I’M “aiding and abetting”?

    • joed68

      Oh, and for the record; I’ve been both shot and stabbed in the past. Both times, my reaction was rage, and to either kill, or attempt to kill, my attacker.

    • Sigh. How do people get like this?

    • What you really need to reply is with this.

      “How many black people do you want to lock up just so you can feel safe”?

      • joed68

        Please tell me you’re joking.

        • Chris R.

          His comment both is, and isnt a joke. I dont take his comment to mean he thinks we should lock blacks up. Instead I take it as a way to smack a non-thinker upside the head for failing to follow the logical path their suggestions would lead us down.

          Most of the quick “solutions” will simply result in more black men going to jail. Its the logical end game of many of the policies we have in place today (War on drugs, mandatory minimums, zero tolerance,etc). So if people think that creating these new rules will work, they had better prepare for more inmates.

          • joed68

            Yes, more cops in a given area means that those in that area are more likely to be arrested when they commit crimes. Also, a school shooter foolish enough to go after this newly-hardened target is more likely to be shot before he shoots a whole bunch of people at a leisurely pace, though the deterrent effect of this not being a gun-free zone means he’s less likely to be there, shooting kids, to begin with. Sounds like a win-win-win to me.

  5. Matthew B

    They drill this slightly different at my kid’s school. They teach everyone to be an attacker. They teach them that every student should be throwing heavy objects the moment the door opens. With 30 inbound books, chairs, backpacks and desks, anyone will cower and protect themselves no matter the gun they have. At that point, those to the side of the door move in before the shooter can react.

    As a drill, they give each student foam props of common classroom items. Then one student enters playing the role of a shooter. Even with foam props, it is terrifying for the student playing the shooter.

    • joed68

      Awesome! Yes, now THAT’s an appropriate response!

    • Paul W. Schlecht

      ”They teach everyone to be an attacker. ”

      Good luck with that, Phy-Ed is now an elective, but most of these kids could probably THUMB someone into submission.

      Might you craft an approach employing classes that’ve replaced it which may include, but are not limited to:

      *”The Toxicity of the White Race”
      *”Save the Planet: Guilt Trip/Rat out Global Warming Non-Believers!”
      *”What Emotional Support Animal Is Best For You?”
      *”Inclusivity: Live Without Those Who Don’t See Things Right.”
      *”Racism: How To Manufacture It Out Of Thin Air.”
      *”Self-Esteem: Living Without The Word NO In Your Life.”

      • Still Spartan

        WTF is wrong with you?

          • Still Spartan

            See, this is why there are few successful conservative comics….

            • The reason is that the nature of conservatism is to respect the status quo and tradition, and the nature of artists of all kinds is to color outside the box. Twas always thus, and twill always be. There are many unfortunate consequences of this, like the current state of late night TV.

              • Still Spartan

                Status quo and tradition also can be buzz words for unpleasant traditions/status quo items such as: racism, sexism, classism (lots of ‘isms come to think about it). It’s hard to poke fun about wanting to enforce these systems without coming across as an ass — as many of your commenters frequently do. Bill Maher (your favorite comic) does poke fun at liberals — but he is an equal opportunity jackass, so that’s fine.

                • Some commenters occasionally do, one commenter repeatedly does.

                  If you really think Bill Maher is an equal opportunity ass, your own bias is showing. For example, he has never called a progressive or feminist a “cunt,” or uttered a syllable of criticism of the previous President. He is wary of Islam and political correctness, and since he’s a pig, doesn’t take sexual harassment seriously, and defended Bill Clinton’s right to have sex with interns because he “worked hard.”

                • Some commenters occasionally do, one commenter repeatedly does.

                  If you really think Bill Maher is an equal opportunity ass, your own bias is showing. For example, he has never called a progressive or feminist a “cunt,” or uttered a syllable of criticism of the previous President. He is wary of Islam and political correctness, and since he’s a pig, doesn’t take sexual harassment seriously, and defended Bill Clinton’s right to have sex with interns because he “worked hard.”

                • Paul W. Schlecht

                  ”(Maher) is an equal opportunity jackass, so that’s fine.”

                  His lilliputian Lefty-bashing is “equal opportunity?” You gotta be effin’ kidding me!

                  If yer ‘in the business,’ who could/would pass up the Mother Lode of low-hanging fruit the Left regularly provides? Heck, only a fool.***

                  It’s Maher’s twisted homage to some warped concept of “equal time.” His adoring throngs embrace/internalize that and think they’re real real hip & open minded too. Win-win, & I bet the analytics confirm that.

                  (***Disclosure: For a different audience and different reasons, I’ve been well compensated for mining the same demographic)

                  IMHO, there are disproportionately few successful X-Chromosomal Unit comics, regardless of ideological certification; some unpleasant ism?

            • Paul W. Schlecht

              ”this is why there are few successful conservative comics….”

              Meh; all you’ve proven is why even Lefty comedians aren’t booking gigs at Lefty campuses (forgive the redundancy)

              Lefties (most, not all) have no sense of humor and take themselves FAAAAAAAR too seriously.

              I actually don’t think I’m all that humorous, but who am I to argue with thousands of others…

            • this is why there are few successful conservative comics

              No, the slanted bias of media and Hollywood is responsible for that…

        • Chris

          Partisan hackery, Spartan, which is OK as long as it’s conservative partisan hackery.

          • Glenn Logan

            You’ve proven that’s not true over and over and over and over…

          • I’m curious: which part of Pail’s obviously satirical comment do you find unfair or unprovoked?

          • Paul W. Schlecht

            ”Partisan hackery”

            When yer right, yer right! A chronic malady afflicting the benighted berighted, am I right?

            While some of my…um…curricula may not be listed by those exact words, you’ll find those prevailing attitudes in public schools across the land, and the concepts they espouse on most every college campus upon which you set a Birkenstock shod foot.

            To wit:

            “Sociology professor Dr. Ted Thornhill is teaching a “White Racism” class at Florida Gulf Coast University.”

            Assuming you’re melanin-challenged, you did know that people like the talented Dr. Thornhill don’t give a toss; you’re “White,” ergo, “Racist” even if you have a Hempen-homespun BlackLivesMatter T-shirt for every day of the week.

            “They (Students for Academic Freedom) argue that campuses are overwhelmingly liberal and demand that administrations seek a more balanced point of view among faculty and in programs such as lecture series.”

            https://www.thefire.org/media-coverage/on-campus-free-speech-for-you-but-not-for-me/

            That article is nearly 15 years old! You think prevailing campus attitudes have gotten more accepting, stayed ~ the same, or become less accepting?

            • Keep it up, Paul – the humoring, I mean. Your humor is a treasure to me, a major reason why I continue reading this blog. If it’s a treasure to me, it’s safe to presume it’s a treasure to innumerable multitudes more. I gotta like a guy whose humor is like pepper spray in the faces of leftist bullies. Especially the bullies who play the various Victimology Olympics events.

              • Paul W. Schlecht

                Roger that, lucky; we’re birds of a feather!

                When Chris, et al, hears the word bird associated with us, this is what they imagine…

                # 1 middle_finger_flame

    • Really? That’s terrific. What state and city, if you feel comfortable saying?

      • luckyesteeyoreman

        It’s almost unbelievable that any training like that takes place in any school, anywhere in the middle North American latitudes. It’s fun to speculate on the state and city…probably a small town, like, say, population under 50,000…in a predominantly agricultural, if not also right-to-work state…most likely a school whose students are predominantly (say, over 75%) “white” and “middle class”…I am as curious as Jack, and would be delighted to be severely wrong on all points of speculation above.

    • In what state is this wonderful school?

      (pleeez say Texas…)

  6. My thoughts on school shootings in one spot.

    Teachers, pay attention, this is mostly for you because you are on the school shootings front lines.

    TEACHERS, CONCEALED CARRY, & PROTECTING STUDENTS

  7. Zanshin

    Hi Chris and all,

    I think we all, well not all, most of us I suppose, or at least you and me. … oh, let me start again …

    You wrote,

    But I don’t think that [making an effort to be prepared to fight off a shooter] is mutually exclusive to also texting loved ones for information and/or last words.

    My action plan is relevant for a class that is locked down in their class room (the so-called Hide stage). That’s the stage where the teacher and kids start preparing for the possibility that the shooter will get into their class; meaning this is not a passive stage, certainly not for the ‘welcoming committee’. But also ‘playing dead’, like some animals do to survive, is an active deed.
    Texting doesn’t make that much noise. However, the way the kids react while sending and receiving messages could endanger the class.
    For instance, one of the kids receives a message that his sibling in another class is shot and starts unstoppable wailing. Or a kid receives the message that the shooter is arrested. Is this information true or not? Is there maybe a second shooter still roaming the corridors?
    If, after receiving such a joyful message the kid shouts happy to his class something like, It’s over! They arrested the shooter! this could result in:
    a. alerting the shooter that there are people in this classroom;
    b. distracting the welcoming committee;
    c. creating disorder in the class;
    d (worst case) entice the class to unlock the door and walk out.

    As the saying goes,

    It ain’t over till the fat lady sings

    From Wikipedia,
    It ain’t over till (or until) the fat lady sings ( … ) means that one should not presume to know the outcome of an event which is still in progress. More specifically, the phrase is used when a situation is (or appears to be) nearing its conclusion. It cautions against assuming that the current state of an event is irreversible and clearly determines how or when the event will end.

    I assume there are strict protocols for ending the lock down of a school but even when (metaphorically speaking) the fat lady sings, it’s good to keep the following in mind,

    It’s not over until it’s over and even then … it isn’t over

    As I wrote, in my COTD, the moment the shooter tries to step into the class he is most vulnerable, but the reverse is also true; the moment the class thinks it’s over and steps out of the class into the corridor the class is very vulnerable for any attack.

    So, one has to really think through whether one should allow those in a locked down class to engage with social media.
    I do not have any clear answers because it is a more complicated issue then one would think on first sight.

    Now, to respond to your issues regarding, hot water and pepper spray, etc.

    Disclosure 1: I am not a USA citizen and not native speaking English, and I live in Europe to boot.

    Not being a USA citizen, etc. means for me that in my writing I take that in account. For instance, being reluctant in sharing my opinions about some of these typical USA issues. And also by giving pointers that one has to translate some of my remarks to the specifics of ones situation.

    That’s why I formulated my COTD, point c of teachers pre-lock-down preparation as follows,

    make sure you have stuff in your CSB (class survival bag) fitting this and other scenarios. In any case, things that can be used as a weapon and are at the same time (legally) allowed to have with you

    In other words, If pepper spray is not an option then don’t use pepper spray.
    The same for hot water, if there is no hot water, then think of something else.

    For instance, if a teacher decides to create his own CSB he could decide to bring every day his own thermos food jar with boiling water from home. A food jar because it has a greater opening than a bottle-like jar.
    And he could place two (empty) glass bottles in the bag and in a lock down situation break the bottoms off to create MacGyver type of weapons. (If you google, one can find easily instructions on how to do this).

    Now, I gave a detailed response to the issues you brought up of hot boiling water and the (il)legality of pepper spray. But why do I even need to do that? How come that you couldn’t think yourself of a glass bottle or of a thermos jar or a perfume bottle or … ?
    Something else is going on, on a deeper level. These issues, and the way you formulated them, suggest to me a kind of laid back, passive, non-committed approach to this action plan.

    Disclosure 2: I don’t take kindly to others who ask me a question and when I come back with an answer they consistently respond with passive, non-active phrases like “how do I … ?”, “yes, but …”. I have severed ties with close relatives just for that reason. They drain my energy and I prefer to live and work with people who are willing to co-create in a joyful way.

    Chris, I can imagine that a part of the negativity/push back you regularly receive on your comments on this blog is related to being perceived like I wrote above.

    NB. For those who recognize in themselves such a recurring tendency to respond to specific issues or towards life in general I suggest the 2003 book The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting on What Matters by Peter Block

    The invitation of my COTD is to be creative and if one is not that creative — mind you we are talking about a teacher who has “weeks to think about it, from the safety and comfort of [his] home” — learn from others, do some research.

    And for my suggestion to have the kids vote who is the bully in the class so that he gets appointed to be the vanguard volunteer.

    What can I say, I was wrong. Even insensitive. You correctly point out that this shows a lack of empathy by me. I’m sorry. It was not the right suggestion.

    A better suggestion would have been to choose a kid who is playing football in the role of line backer, if available. They are probably stronger and trained to charge at their opponent. And one could argue that for a line backer to die as a hero is so much more rewarding then dying from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) later in life.

    Okay, maybe this suggestion is not that much better. Again, it shows my severe lack of empathy. Well maybe not. Let’s try another track.
    How about … ?

    Disclosure 3: I have some humor

    I suggest you check-out https://ethicsalarms.com/2017/06/16/incompetent-polling-confirmation-bias-lazy-analysis-fake-news/
    In this post Jack refers to a post by Ann Althouse titled:

    “There’s nothing dumber than forgetting that other people might have a sense of humor and are screwing with you.”

    Disclosure 4: I am NOT, I repeat, NOT screwing with you.

    And generally speaking, my reactions on EthicsAlarms are most of the time not mend to screw anyone. My comments are serious and well intended. And at the same time, if I can make a witty remark or use an unexpected association to [ insert here some big positive value like you can relate to (a) wake people out of there complacency; or (b) show the issue from another perspective or even (c) help them transform their live for the better or (d) have some fun while writing ] I will certainly do that.

    Let me add some disclaimers and one disclosure to finish this comment.

    Disclaimer 1: My usage of the saying It ain’t over till the fat lady sings is not intended to be insensitive to those who are the victims of ‘fat shaming’

    Disclosure 5: I am myself slightly overweight and according to official criteria even obese but certainly not comparable to“somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.” Sub-disclosure 5.a: I don’t have a bed that weighs 400 pounds.

    Disclaimer 2: My suggestion that the class should vote the bully of the class to be the vanguard volunteer should be understood as a whimsical exaggeration It is certainly not to belittle the pain that victims of bullies experienced and it is also not suggested that a life of a bully is less worth then the lives of his victims.

    Disclaimer 3: My observation that “one could argue that for a line backer to die as a hero is so much more rewarding then dying from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) later in life should not be construed as disrespect of all the line backers, their families and fans, who suffer in any way of shape from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

    Disclaimer 4: If by reading my action plan/COTD and/or this comment you get the impression that I think the vanguard volunteer should per definition be a strong, courageous, male person I apologize. I think that the class is capable enough to decide who should be the vanguard volunteer.

    • Here’s what happened: I checked in moderation, and in wasn’t there. I assumed it had gone through. Stupidly, I didn’t check SPAM and there it was. Now both versions are up. Tell me which you want, and sorry for the confusion.

    • “I assume there are strict protocols for ending the lock down of a school but even when (metaphorically speaking) the fat lady sings, it’s good to keep the following in mind,”

      Of course there are protocols. It takes an announcement by the principal, in a case of it being a drill/false alarm. Or the arrival of police officers with ID. If a teacher is present (which is likely if there is a lockdown), they’re the ones who determine it. Not the kids.

      As for the noise, we could just say what about the crying kid who is scared because he can’t talk to his/her parents. Doesn’t know what’s going on. It can go both ways with reasons for making noises. Besides, let’s face it, pretty much every classroom will have kids in them. There are not many schools that have a bunch of empty classrooms lying around during the day. They’re generally all filled while school is in session.

      “For instance, if a teacher decides to create his own CSB he could decide to bring every day his own thermos food jar with boiling water from home. A food jar because it has a greater opening than a bottle-like jar.
      And he could place two (empty) glass bottles in the bag and in a lock down situation break the bottoms off to create MacGyver type of weapons. (If you google, one can find easily instructions on how to do this).”

      There is nothing wrong with planning ahead of time. But that is not what we’re discussing here. All that are things planned ahead, and should only take a few seconds to put into action. Then they’re all waiting. What do they do then? Not to mention at best you’ll have 5-6 who could actually put a plan into action (outside of throwing things at the shooter). The other 20 kids are just sitting around off to the side until something happens. As for those specifics, boiling water doesn’t stay boiling for very long in a thermos. (Wouldn’t even be boiling by the time the teacher got to school). And what do we do with the folks who accidentally cut themselves on the glass and are now bleeding to death while they’re locked in a room they can’t leave? (Because you know that will happen).

      • Steve,

        So what would work? Instead of looking for ways things won’t work, how about looking for solutions?

        Improvising a club, or a sharp edge, or a missile can be done almost anywhere. Waiting to die is asinine.

  8. Pennagain

    If only anti-gun policies are taught; only teachers will have guns.

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