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As Xmas passes by, I can't help but think of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I am truly saddened by this and like most of us, the what if's have crossed through my mind. What would I have done in this situation? What should anyone do in this situation? I am working on a teaching degree and hope to take on a teaching role in the future and I think that adds to my strong feelings on the situation.
I came across this article and I'm not so sure I completely agree with it. In the beginning he talks about tripping the fire alarm or turning the lights out to slow down or stop an attacker. These ideas seem ok at first thought, but tripping the fire alarm would cause everyone to leave the building and be in plain site of an attacker. Not so sure about that one. Turning out the lights might not be that bad though. It is likely that the attacker will not be as experienced in the building as the school personnel, which he does mention. Setting off the sprinkler system would certainly be annoying but would it stop an attacker?
The next part is where he completely looses me. He basically is saying that teachers should be required to directly interfere with an attacking criminal by using a trash can, a stapler, maybe even a gun, or a fire extinguisher At one point even says that if this system were in place and you didn't want to participate then you shouldn't be a teacher. I think we can all agree that most teachers are women and most are not aggressive or confrontational. Requiring teachers to interfere, would most likely be more dangerous. The way the article is worded makes me think about how a doctor is required to help a dying person. A doctor however would go through YEARS of training to save peoples lives. So sure if I were a doctor and I saw someone dying I wouldn't mind running over to help. A teacher goes through years of training to teach. Yes, that does include fire safety and other forms of safety but requiring them to obstruct a situation like this is not the same thing. By all means if you want to step in and if you feel it will not make the situation worse, then go for it!
So what should we do? If sitting in a corner is not helping, then it is time to find a better answer. I know having an actual police officer in every school could get pricey and they are probably better put to use elsewhere but what about a security guard? They serve a similar function and would be there if ever needed in a more serious situation. How about giving all teachers tasers or pepper spray? You could attack the attacker with those types of things before they even realized it.
I guess the point that I am making and that the author of the article is making is that the current system doesn't quite work. We need to have a better system and more training in place in hopes of saving as many of these precious lives as possible.