Weekend Open Thread

While pretty much everyone else affiliated with schools, parents, or teachers in Washington and other big-city school districts around the country has been addressing concerns raised by the Newtown elementary school rampage and/or expressing condolences for those affected, not an official peep or reassurance from CPS or CTU or City Hall so far.  Read below for a few links then tell us what you think or what's on your mind, school shooting or otherwise.  The only press release I've gotten was yet another CTU email about the "fat cats.")

That doesn't mean there aren't good things to read about the issue, and perhaps Byrd-Bennett, Lewis, and Emanuel have commented directly to news outlets rather than sending out emails.

WSJ: Schools Counter Firearm Violence ow.ly/g7RNa...

CDF: 5,740 children and teens killed by guns in 2008 and 2009, enough to fill 229 classrooms...  childrensdefense.org/child-research…

The Atlantic:  Why are they interviewing little kids? bit.ly/UsGqqJ

Tribune: Good evidence found trib.in/U0MDwL


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  • We might not be seeing much out of CPS/CTU communities because the truth is that children are statistically much safer inside Chicago schools than outside of them, where a horrific slaughter of children has been taking place of the school house this year.

  • CPS released a statement on Facebook (and linked to on Twitter)- https://www.facebook.com/chicagopublicschools/posts/511809578839410

    CTU also tweeted yesterday: https://twitter.com/CTULocal1/status/279673919944916994

    As did the Mayor's office- https://twitter.com/ChicagosMayor/status/279666580554649601 https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoMayorsOffice/posts/186767984794807

  • Does anyone know if there are fire code rules about teaching with the classroom door locked?

    I usually teach with my door propped open but I think I'd feel better having the door closed and locked when there are children in the room. It can still be opened from the inside (so we could easily get out in case of a fire), but would be locked from the outside.

  • When I taught high school we were directed to have our doors locked so the kids in the hallways being swept up couldn't run into rooms. So I do not think there is a fire could rule against it, like you said they can be opened from the inside.

    But the reality is in a situation like Sandy Hook the shooter would have just shot off the lock. He broke into the school through a glass door and when the principal went to check out what was going on he shot her dead. Even having an armed officer in the school might have not stopped this guy unless the officer realized immediately what was going on and had his weapon drawn, there is little doubt he would shot anyone who stood in his way.

    The truth is every school has many doors that can be forced open and someone bent on mass murder probably always will have a good chance to get into any school even with cameras, locked doors, etc. Believe it or not down in Texas in eastern Wilbarger County that borders Oklahoma, about 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth teachers are allowed to have concealed carry guns, now that I think is really crazy.

    Rod Estvan

  • Fear

    I was at Bogan about a month when this happened.
    One afternoon during passing period I was watching the hall.
    when i saw a boy slip a Beretta semi auto into his belt
    above the crack of his ass.The hall was full of kids so
    what to do?Well i went up to him and said what is in your belt
    If he had so much as blinked his nuts would have visited his liver.
    Thank god he said a prop gun for the school play.Sure enough out came a perfect copy of a real pistol it was a perfect replica.
    I took him to security and after telling the cop I proceeded to
    verbal unload on him.
    The fear did not kick in until later.But if it was real and he was bent on destruction that would have been it for a lot of people.If a cop had
    observed what he did he might have been shot.God was I stupid. .

  • I remember that when I was a student at Whitney Young a kid brought a handgun of some sort into my art class. We were taking the class together. I froze and became ready to meet my maker. I don't even remember what the teacher did or if he even knew what was going on. No one was shot. I think it was an ego thing for the kid.

  • thanks for the updates and especially word that CPS and CTU sent out word via twitter and facebook if not via press release.

    here's an email CPS sent out internally over the weekend, sent along by a reader,

    Regarding communications about the school shootings from CPS: I received this message from CPS on Saturday (below). In addition, the Principal's blog on Ray Elementary's website addresses the school shootings http://tlbeckwith.cuipblogs.net/

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Internal Communications
    Date: Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 2:11 PM
    Subject: Important Message from CPS Chief Safety and Security Officer,
    Jadine Chou
    December 15, 2012
    Dear CPS Parents, guardians and caretakers,

    By now, you are probably aware of the news of yesterday’s shootings at
    the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Our
    thoughts and prayers go out to the families of everyone who might have
    been affected by this tragic incident.

    We want to assure you that your child’s safety, and that of our staff,
    is our top priority at Chicago Public Schools. We have worked very
    hard to ensure that there are safety measures in place across the
    District to protect your children and our staff. As part of these
    safety plans, we already have several actions in place, including but
    not limited to:

    Every school has an individual, custom Emergency Management
    Plan, as well as a School Safety Plan.

    · All schools are required to conduct regular emergency drills
    to account for various crisis situations, including a situation that
    may involve an active shooter.

    · All schools must have standard entry and access control
    protocols to manage the entry of students, staff and visitors.

    · All CPS schools have security and, in some cases, schools
    have Chicago Police officers in the building.

    · In all cases, CPS administrators maintain an ongoing strong
    partnership with Chicago Police to ensure the safety of our schools.

    Yesterday, we sent a mass email out to all Principals reminding them
    of the importance of being prepared. In this letter we asked the
    Principals to take additional steps such as:

    · If they haven’t already, make sure they immediately conduct
    their required emergency drills.

    · Ensure that the school’s exterior doors are secured at all times.

    · Enforce the visitor protocols to ensure that all visitors
    are going through the standard entry process.

    · Make sure that everyone knows that safety is EVERYONE’S
    responsibility and that everyone needs to remain vigilant.

    As further information unfolds around yesterday’s incident, we will
    continue to explore additional ways that we need to improve our safety

    We appreciate your involvement as concerned parents and again want to
    reassure you that we are continuing to improve on how we do safety at
    Chicago Public Schools. If at any time, you have any questions or
    concerns around your child’s safety, please contact your child’s
    Principal immediately. It is everyone’s goal to be responsive to
    these concerns as quickly as possible. We take this matter very
    seriously and look forward to continue engaging you around this very
    critical issue.

    Thank you for your support.

    Jadine Chou

    Chief Safety and Security Officer

    Chicago Public Schools

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