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A sign of the times

Monday, Jun 23, 2014

* AP

Private schools in Illinois will now have to conduct annual drills to prepare for potential school shootings and review their security preparations.

Legislation signed into law Saturday brings the state’s 1,800 private schools in line with requirements already in place for public schools.

* CNN, by the way, has a useful take on school shootings

After Tuesday’s shooting at an Oregon high school, many media outlets, including CNN, reported that there have been 74 school shootings in the past 18 months.

That’s the time period since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were shot to death.

The statistic came from a group called Everytown for Gun Safety, an umbrella group started by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a passionate and public advocate of gun control. […]

CNN took a closer look at the list, delving into the circumstances of each incident Everytown included. Everytown says on its web site that it gleans its information from media reports and that its list includes school shootings involving a firearm discharged inside or on school grounds, including assaults, homicides, suicides and accidental shootings.

CNN determined that 15 of the incidents Everytown included were situations similar to the violence in Newtown or Oregon — a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a school. That works out to about one such shooting every five weeks, a startling figure in its own right.

Some of the other incidents on Everytown’s list included personal arguments, accidents and alleged gang activities and drug deals.

CNN also has a list and brief descriptions of the 15 shootings.

Just because a shooting isn’t a massacre doesn’t mean schools shouldn’t be prepared to deal with smaller incidents.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    –Some of the other incidents on Everytown’s list included personal arguments, accidents and alleged gang activities and drug deals.–

    Whew, that’s a relief!

  2. - Just Trying to Survive - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    In what other profession other than law enforcement do employees go to work aware that they could be killed working with children? At a time when the teaching profession is under the biggest attack ever, one must wonder why anyone would bother working with kids for the danger, low pay and lack of respect. Forget private or charter schools as an option to public schools. We’ll all need to home school soon to stay alive, apparently.

  3. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    I suspect in most cases, this regulation will confirm something that’s already in place. It’s not a lot different than fire drills or other emergency plans that the state requires of schools; public or private. The frequency of these events is saddening to say the least.

  4. - Wondering - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    Just Trying to Survive… what “low pay”???

  5. - OneMan - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    It was interesting to get my kids perspective on this (a high schooler and a middle schooler)…

    The local PD ran a drill at the HS that the middle schooler got to observe as part of a merit badge activity. It was an active shooter drill that started in a common area at the school. So he got to see the shooter, the simulated wounds, how the police responded and the rest of the emergency services.

    He was also able to talk about what has changed in the response since when they first started doing drills. Even had the talk about how to respond, run, hide and if need be, fight.

    They announce the location of the shooter so they can evacuate quicker which is a change from how they used to respond there are also changes in shelter in place. Block the door and have a couple of books handy to throw at the shooter…

    Because 25+ years ago when I was in High School and we had an on campus shooting and the students nor the faculty (based off what I could see at the time) had no clue how to respond (not even sure the police really did)…

    So just like they practice for a tornado which is rather unlikely, it makes sense to do this as well.

  6. - Wensicia - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    For over a decade we’ve trained and practiced both hard and soft lockdowns in my public high school. We often have real lockdowns when violence or police actively trailing a suspect happen close by the building. Once, six years ago, two guns were brought into school secretly, though we have walk through metal detectors (apparently, they were passed through an unsecured opening). We were on hard lockdown for over three hours, well past the end of the scheduled day, hiding on the floor away from the view of the classroom door until the building was fully secured.

    It’s part of our routine, just like fire and tornado drills, but it’s scary to think how close we came to possible violence that day.

  7. - Just Trying to Survive - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Wondering………you have to be drinking the Tribbie and Civvie Kool Aid. Look at your average compensation for education required and compare it to other professions with such requirements. I suppose you also believe the average teacher pension is 200K, like so many others.

  8. - OneMan - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    In what other profession other than law enforcement do employees go to work aware that they could be killed working with children?

    School bus drivers, virtually any activity that requires people to drive someone else’s kids, scout leaders, the list goes on. Just using accidental death I suspect the rate is higher for all of those folks than teachers in a classroom..

    Workplace deaths among elementary and secondary school staff are rare, and homicides even more rare. In 2012, the Department of Labor reports 40 deaths and 7 homicides in public and private K-12 schools – which likely includes the six staff members killed in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

    Lots of respect for teachers, but the risk they take everyday in terms of being a victim of a violent death in the workplace is really, really low.

  9. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    Think of a postal worker, sanitation worker or any worker (Pepsi delivery driver) whose work includes a route in a gang infested area. There are a lot of risky jobs today. Very sad.

  10. - Anon - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    What is it about the USA that accounts for the frequency of these incidents compared to other wealthy democracies, such as Canada, Australia, Japan, and Britain? One factor is that the USA has by far the most firearms in private hands of any country.

  11. - siriusly - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    Really people - just one person was shot and killed. I don’t see why we should care about that!

  12. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    When is a school shooting not a school shooting? When CNN says so. CNN did a real disservice to the debate with this nonsense. As the mother of one of the victims of school gun violence said,

    “Blair died trying to save another girl’s life. He was just another innocent bystander whose life was cut short because a gun was in the wrong hands. But to CNN and other media outlets, murders like my son’s don’t count.”

    Sorry CNN, a school shooting is still a school shooting, even if it’s not a rampage.

  13. - Ahoy! - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    74 shootings in 18 months is quite a lot, it’s too bad that we can’t talk about solutions in a responsible and respectable manor. It’s also too bad that data can be part of the solution and we have a congress that is intent on ensuring the ATF and CDC do not keep data and statistics on gun violence.

    For another statistic maybe someone can look up how many congressional hearings we’ve had on Benghazi and how many we’ve had on gun violence. Politics and ranting is so much easier than solutions.

  14. - funny guy - Monday, Jun 23, 14 @ 10:06 pm:

    Let’s face the truth, like it or not, you are not going to get rid of the guns–so let’s solve the violence that’s killing many more kids in the inner city by decriminalizing drugs. For the schools, put a couple of cops (with guns) in each school.

  15. - Just Trying to Survive - Tuesday, Jun 24, 14 @ 7:52 am:

    Our local schools have police liason officers as do most far west suburban schools. They are armed. They may act as a deterrent but the problem is kids are really crafty. Keeping every door closed and locked is a trick when it can be arranged for someone to prop it open. We have mobile classrooms and there is movement to/from the building at every passing period. My daughter and her friends knew how to “blend” in with that traffic if they were late coming back from open campus lunch and sneak in. There are definitely ways that anyone intent on getting in would be able to do so. It’s a difficult assignment to come up with how to protect a massive campus. Even inner city schools with their metal detectors… find ways. No one seems to be able to come up with a foolproof solution.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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