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Skool Shewtin'


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Today's moment of gun violence, and they happen pretty much daily, hit very close to home.

 

The school in question is in the same district as the one my son goes to. In fact, had his mother lived a couple blocks west of where she is, he would have ended up at this one. He has friends from the neighborhood that go to the school that had the incident.

 

It's a suburb community that's not huge, so thankfully the response was very fast and very major. Not 5 minutes after shots were fired was my kid in lockdown with police surrounding his school as a precaution. I was able to get there quick and pick him up.

 

He was freaked out this morning, but he's fine now-- because sadly, even when it happens in your backyard it has become normalized.

 

Too close for comfort for me.

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We do lockdown training now. I joke that I live in an area where no one can afford guns enough that their kids will be let to bring them to school but it's still scary. Once a bus ran over a basketball and all the kids ducked and ran while I was standing straight up with my whistle looking for all the world like a target because for white people like me guns haven't normalized yet. I was craning to look and see what happened while my Hispanic and African-American students who live in the school district were running for cover.

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I was a finalist for an assistant principal job at a school here in Denver that had a shooting (one student died). I live five minutes from Columbine High School. Both of these schools serve an affluent population. I am currently at a school with a highly impacted population and regularly deal with violence.

 

Last week, I received a Snapchat of two fourth graders playing with a gun at home. Mom was arrested bc part of her probation was no weapons in the house. I was indirectly threatened by another family member and gang member because I called the cops...

 

If a student makes a threat, we have to do a threat assessment. A threat assessment usually takes a full day of a mental health staff (counselor, school psych, etc). That time is taken away from providing students mental health time.

 

Right now I am in my office dealing with student A peeing in student B's backpack because student C broke student A's glasses and blamed it on student B. All students and parents point the finger at someone else and do not accept responsibility for their actions. Some days are better and some days are much worse.

 

I bust about 1 parent a month for sexually molesting their child.

 

I could go on.

 

I don't have any solutions. I guess my point is, is that every single day so much comes at school administrators regarding student safety it is overwhelming and we simply do not have the resources to properly address every issue....and I work in a very well-funded district.

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Yeah, we do a lot of out reach. My school day ends at around 4 PM but honestly we're still open until almost 9 pm doing literacy classes, parenting classes, GED classes, evening dinners and outreach through school programs.

 

It's kind of shocking more about the abuse that happens at homes in my school district. When I taught middle school I had pre-teens who were pregnant learning algebra.

 

It's why my social media profile is very limited because of the stuff that happened to Ender above.

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The solution is supposed to start at home. Unfortunately now the school system is suppose to be the parental units that provides discipline. When the states keep legislating discipline out of the schools!!!

I agree in theory, but in practice I don't know what that would look like or how it would be enforced. The minimal laws that are in place for parents, such as attendance, are sparsely enforced. The few times I have gone to attendance court the student and parent just go in and get lectured to by the judge for 2-3 minutes. I do call in for educational neglect, which results in a wellness check, but that actually distances the parent from the school.

 

But knowing the reality of the situation, I would like to see increased funding for mental health. In my old district (the same district as a prior Denver school shooting), only EIGHT of the 56 elementary schools had a school counselor. I had one that was a .8 FTE (only worked four days a week) and I had to use principal discretionary funds for her salary.

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