I was in 7th grade when Columbine happened. In that same year, my school went into lockdown because a man had gone on a shooting rampage at his former work office... the office was at least 5 miles away, across a bridge, down a hill, in a whole other neighborhood. (((From Queen Anne in Seattle to Wallingford)))
It seemed, or perhaps we hoped, Columbine would be an isolated incident. Unfortunately that has not been the case. We are hyper-aware and prepared because we have to be. This has become our reality. To ignore it is to wish to be naive.
(comment and a question for the guests:)
No current iron in the fire (no kids in school and my bills aren't paid down enough to go back myself). That said, I wonder how different this is from violence during the bussing years (my middle and high school years).
It would seem to me that the chances of extreme violence are greater with road rage and drive by violence than in the classroom; problem is, we may be becoming too callous to the former and only the big stories of school violence are what get our attention.
Do any of the guests think we as a society and/or they within the educational circle need to consider the natural extensions of student's lives in the online world when assessing potential for problems? If so, how do we do that? Do your considerations raise privacy versus safety issues?
Despite the best efforts of school administrators, they will never, ever catch all issues before they become major incidents like that at VT. One answer is to remove the long standing ban on legally carried weapons on campus. I know when I was in college here in Portland; I would have felt much safer with my own firearm and the ability to defend myself.
One other note: it must be recognized the high media coverage of school shootings, especially Columbine has INCREASED the number of instances across the country. The Media must bear some of the responsibility for other school shootings that followed the extensive and overly dramatic coverage. It is precisely this attention the shooter frequently seeks.
How many more guns do you think Cho needed to make himself feel safe at VT?
How many more guns did he need to defend himself from whatever mental chimeras afflicted him?
Maybe, just maybe, more guns is not the answer.
How many fewer people would have been killed if someone had been able to defend themselves and others? Maybe less guns isn't the answer? VT ALREADY banned firearms on campus BEFORE Cho's rampage. Would you feel the same if your child was killed by a gunman when he/she could have defended themselves and others? Knee jerk reactions do not save lives.
Yeah, I can just imagine a bunch of drunken frat boys showing each other who is the toughest hombre on campus.
How about after football or basketball shootouts among angry fans?
More and better trained police working closely with administration and faculty and interacting with the kids is far more logical and reasonable.
That's clearly the answer. Glad you are so confident in your skills with firearms. I would feel so much safer knowing you had a gun to protect us all! Oh wait that is to protect you, I guess I will have to get my own.
Glad you also have such insight into the cause of the increase of school shootings. This kind of objectivity really makes me a believer in your right to carry a gun. How smart! How safe I feel!
Of course, the FBI is completely incorrect in their assessment of the number of both foiled and completed school shootings that attribute their inception to the Columbine shootings, and your are right.
As a prior military (AF Special Forces) I am trained in the use of firearms and understand the immense responsibility that comes with all weapons, be it a gun, knife or my own limbs. I do not espouse everyone be allowed to carry firearms, but there are instances where victims have stopped gunmen. This is indisputable fact.
All of this talk is just feeding into the culture of fear. Yes these things have happened, they will continue to happen despite our best efforts. We should simply take reasonable precautions for safety.
The paranoia reminds me of how I feel working with people that have brain tumors. Every time I get a headache I am sure that I have a brain tumor, which is not the case. Just because one school out of tens of thousands has an incident does not mean that your school will have an incident.
Violent crimes have decreased, do not buy into this frenzy to distrust your fellow human beings.
All but two states permit colleges and universities to have police departments. Only Oregon and Hawaii prohibit such agencies to exist. So, when the student at WOU mentioned the recent incident, what was not mentioned is that none of the state schools have police departments. There are two schools that have entered into contracts with police (OSU/OSP and UO has three Eugene police). In both instances the staffing levels are well below what is recommended by the FBI.
All school districts in Oregon are authorized to have police departments. So can ports, service districts and transit districts. Even K-12 can have PD's. I think we should be asking why colleges and universities are prohibited.
The specific Oregon Revised Statute that prevents campus police from existing is 181.610. See 12(a) and 14. I have no idea why K-12, transit and service districts can, but colleges and universities cannot.
BTW: Most schools in Oregon, including colleges and universities, permit carrying firearms on campus when the person has a concealed handgun license because of O.R.S. 166.370. The case is different for the state owned (OUS) schools which enacted Oregon Administrative Rules that forbid firearms (i.e. 571-021-0120 3c).
Understanding how frightening the idea of school violence can be (I was a junior in high school the year of the Columbine Shooting), still, I don't see how "more guns" could possibly be the answer. Students carrying guns? Teachers carrying guns? I'm much more terrified of an accidental shooting than I am frightened of one disturbed person shooting me on campus.
As a graduate student at OSU studying to go into student affairs, I am encouraged the university purchasing a text messaging system to inform us of pertinent info. I read a newspaper article that 3-4 other schools joined from Oregon to purchase this equipment, so I wonder why U of O or other schools are not joining and being proactive in this way.
Jackie Balzer said, "Our job is to educate students" which I think is really key. Student affairs professionals are here to educate and give students resources, such as campus safety.
I work with a community organization hosting an inter-religious faith forum on violence, including school violence next wednesday 4/23 at Providence St. Vincents Hospital. www.ianofwashingtoncounty.org
Locally I hope that we look at ways we can discover and take an active role in preventing the social conditions that predicate violence against each other.
"Locally I hope that we look at ways we can discover and take an active role in preventing the social conditions that predicate violence against each other."
This is the result of decades of American descent into Conservatism, the politics of fear-mongering, hatred, and divisiveness.
Education, education, education is the way to prevent Conservatism. Ignorance is the way into Conservatism and education is the way out.
Windrogue continued as my file disappeared and was mot posted after a page of personal history. to summerize
Abused by natural child in my adoptive home for 14 years to the point of shutting down, Attended therapy for 7 of 12 years in regular 50 min sessions
Stopped eating simple man made process carbohydrates at 28 till now to see anxiety, tension, frustration, depression, and ange become not only manageable but go away and not be an issue once one withdrawl's from them. I am talking about any dextroratory carbs, and eating only fresh fruit fresh vegtables and fresh meats avoiding cans packages and bottles except for things like milk and other unprocessed items. I think the anger and rage is triggered by these foods and has become the problem of the modern world
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