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Old 12-20-2012, 10:08 AM   #151
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Sorry, missed that part. That one seems to depend on the school. Some have knobs, some have crash bars (some were built by the WPA.) Most of the ones with knobs have a lock of some sort either on the knob or a deadbolt.

Our schools practice these safety drills -- block the window on the door so someone outside can't see in (a piece of paper taped over it, for example.) Hide everyone inside from as many sight lines as possible. Kill the lights, lock the door, and keep everyone silent.

Here in farming country, though, the drill that gets more exercised is the "Grandpa towed a trailer tank full of anhydrous with him when he came to pick up the grandkids. He hit the ditch and spilled half of it. Quick, everybody hold your breath and run upwind a couple blocks." Nope. Not kidding.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:28 AM   #152
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Here in farming country, though, the drill that gets more exercised is the "Grandpa towed a trailer tank full of anhydrous with him when he came to pick up the grandkids. He hit the ditch and spilled half of it. Quick, everybody hold your breath and run upwind a couple blocks." Nope. Not kidding.
Hah. At my high school it was mostly "let's mix random chemicals together in the lab until we produce a reaction that is either violently exothermic, or just produces enough white smoke to gas out the entire maths block next door".
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:32 AM   #153
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A few years back a section of Southern Illinois Univ.-Carbondale because of an explosion in the fish research lab. Now, what exactly do you do to a fish to make one explode?
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:34 AM   #154
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Here it was "on the day we're playing with hydrochloric acid in chem lab, fill a test tube with water and go flinging it on people who think it's acid while screaming 'THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU' until your teacher throws a notebook at you."

God that was fun.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:37 AM   #155
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A few years back a section of Southern Illinois Univ.-Carbondale because of an explosion in the fish research lab. Now, what exactly do you do to a fish to make one explode?
I don't know. Maybe they should put the research lab onto that one.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:39 AM   #156
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Feed it aspirin? Or is that seagulls? I forget.

Another lesson learned in high school chem was "the melting point of most laboratory metalware is substantially below that of sodium chloride".
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:45 AM   #157
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:53 AM   #158
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I worked recently in a state agency office -- coincidentally, it was my state's Department of Education. They had a spiffy new security system of locked doors throughout the building that got opened via a card key/employee photo ID.

The way it worked, each working area was locked off. Every door could be opened without swiping the card from the inside, but all of the doors had to be swiped to open them from the outside. The security system logged every swipe, and every card key was unique to the user it was issued to. They might not know who was holding the key at the time, but they'd be able to find out whose key opened any given door at any given moment.

The elevators also had to be swiped to make them go anywhere except the ground floor, which was where all the exits out of the building were. If you wanted to go to another floor, you had to swipe your card to get the button to work.

You could get into the stairwells from any floor without swiping, but you had to swipe to get out again on any floor but the ground floor.

The roof exits and dedicated emergency-only exits were all alarmed. The alarm system was also connected directly to the fire department and police.

Once you got to your floor, you could use the restrooms without swiping, but you had to swipe to enter any work area.

Of course all this meant swiping door after door after door to navigate around the building during the work day. But the point of it was to section off the building into discrete units in order to slow down any attacker or isolate any disturbance. This would give people time to find safe areas or make their escape. The building also had more points of exit than points of entry, so it could be easier to get out than in.

Plus there were guards at the main entrance, and an operations department that monitored comings and goings throughout the building.

It struck me as a good system. Maybe it's one that should be considered for school buildings. It would be expensive, of course, but so will the liability insurance needed to cover the schools, states, and school boards if they insist on arming teachers or letting teachers bring their own guns to school. Not to mention the lawsuits. Whew. Think of it.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:08 PM   #159
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I worked recently in a state agency office -- coincidentally, it was my state's Department of Education. They had a spiffy new security system of locked doors throughout the building that got opened via a card key/employee photo ID.

...

It struck me as a good system. Maybe it's one that should be considered for school buildings. It would be expensive, of course, but so will the liability insurance needed to cover the schools, states, and school boards if they insist on arming teachers or letting teachers bring their own guns to school. Not to mention the lawsuits. Whew. Think of it.
How would that work with a bunch of little kids who're easily overpowered (someone could take their card) and often prone to losing things? I wouldn't trust a seven-year-old with my wallet, nor a card that the school will probably charge $25 to replace. Do they schedule everything so they're never without the teacher who has a card for the entire class?

We had scheduled bathroom breaks in the worst school I went to (a dirt poor, almost all black, ridiculous uniformed school in New Orleans). We were never allowed to go anywhere alone. Our lunches were supposed to be eaten in silence. We could never be unaccompanied in the halls. Over all, it was an awful system. Felt more like jail than school. If I remember correctly (this was a while ago, before Katrina) we didn't even have access to the library except on designated days -- once a month. And they wondered why no one liked going to school.

I see pass-cards leading to the same complaints launched against the ID's with RFID chips. Maybe with high school students it could work. Not necessarily with elementary school students.

But I don't see super poor urban schools being able to afford any kind of security system, anyway. They can't even afford books or new bathrooms. At that point, it's like choosing between a secure, unproductive, lousy learning environment -- but at least the kids are safe -- and a pseudo-productive, lousy learning environment.

With so many schools relying on portables nowadays, I see it difficult to implement any security system without posting a twelve foot brick wall around the perimeter with cameras and a guard. Also impractical.

I have a passcard to get into my building at university. It's to prevent theft. But I don't see a passcard preventing a student on student shooting. It might make it easier to implicate someone else, however.

For small, rich upper level schools with few students and one building, I see it working. Anywhere else, not so much.

At this point, I'm resigned to say there will be no one-size fits all solution. And some schools, more likely than not, will end up with the short end of the stick. And, sad to say, that will probably be the very poor, underfunded schools where the majority of students probably need new books and more teachers than a security system.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:54 PM   #160
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Our assistant principal, who was the one who decided to call the police for assaults my senior year, went to become the principal of a poorer, very violent school in the region. He did well. He does well. He's a Black man, which I think is important, because he knows how to talk to the kids, too (not that every Black man would because they are Black, but y'all see what I'm saying, I hope). He commands respect. He's strict, but also practical and thoughtful.

There is a middle ground between a fully secure, prison-type environment and nothing, imho. There is a risk of going overboard, but as long as folks don't throw solutions at the problem without enough feedback and thoughtfulness, it can be better, I think.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:58 PM   #161
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Had there been an armed guard or a cop in the school in Newtown, the mere size of the place says the odds are against the guard being where the shooter was at the time of his entrance. But the suggestion does offer up the possibility of them exchanging gunfire in a classroom full of children. (ETA: That might have saved some children's lives, or might have just added another adult to the fatality list.)

I work in schools that have 12-15 buildings spread across three city blocks, and a few that are the only building in town. In neither case would an armed guard provide more than a small area of protection. It's just a silly idea.

Not as unfortunate as the idea of arming teachers, but still.

I'm not sure how many times we've been around this circle, so far, in this thread, but it's more than once.

There is no "instant solution." Just as we did not "instantly" get to this point, we will not instantly get out of it.

A gun is not a magic wand.
It might be a silly idea for your school, but I don't think it's a silly idea. There won't be a one-size-fits-all solution. Folks are going to have to really understand what they are dealing with in their local area, imho.

The mass shooting we had in my area went on for 45 minutes. They are usually so fast, and this one wasn't. But it was real, and important, and folks break their hearts here wondering what could have helped saved some of the victims. Some of the victims. Because those last two (for instance) victims matter very, very much on their own.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:52 AM   #162
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Had there been an armed guard or a cop in the school in Newtown, the mere size of the place says the odds are against the guard being where the shooter was at the time of his entrance.
If the argument is that having but one armed guard on a large campus is silly because it is better to have more, I agree. If the argument is that having but one armed guard on a large campus is as ineffective as having none, I don't quite agree. I do, however, see it indicating the utility of allowing those with concealed carry permits to use them. Teachers, principals, and other school personnel are, after all, much more numerous, and therefore much more likely to be present, than a lone security guard when another active shooter strikes.

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But the suggestion does offer up the possibility of them exchanging gunfire in a classroom full of children. (ETA: That might have saved some children's lives, or might have just added another adult to the fatality list.)
If the argument is that engaging in a gun battle is dangerous, I agree. But those who meet an active shooter with immediate and overwhelming force are much more likely to stop him than be victimized by him.

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A gun is not a magic wand.
Against an active shooter, it is far better than nothing, which is (mostly) what we presently have.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:17 AM   #163
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You know what's better than a gun in such a place? A place where the gun can hit nobody. The best one can do is to clear the room and barricade or run for cover. Give him no targets to shoot at. Let him blow through his clips. Then when he has no ammo, tackle him. Therefore you have no bullets of your own to account for.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:58 AM   #164
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You know what's better than a gun in such a place? A place where the gun can hit nobody. The best one can do is to clear the room and barricade or run for cover. Give him no targets to shoot at. Let him blow through his clips. Then when he has no ammo, tackle him. Therefore you have no bullets of your own to account for.
An utter impossibility in any classroom I've attended or worked in, and I teach. Classrooms almost always are cul-de-sacs, a single door. Clear the classroom? What, dive through the windows? Barricade? With . . . what?

The gunman simply opens the door, steps in, and has an arcade gallery of people sitting in chairs with nowhere to go and nothing to provide cover. And "when he blows through his ammo"? At Virginia Tech, Seun-hui Cho cruised into classrooms with how many clips? I don't know, but it was many. Adam Lanza, in this latest episode, killed himself with "hundreds" of unexpended rounds still available.

Why didn't the managers of the theater in Aurora, Colorado "clear" it when James Holmes came in with his gas bombs and bullet-spraying weapons?

Oh, and has anyone mentioned the key element upon which these mass killers depend? SURPRISE.

If I'm going to come into a classroom of kids with intent on wreaking utter mass mayhem (and I'm not, despite what some here may suspect), who is my first target? THE TEACHER. It's probably hard for the investigators to determine, but my bet is that in Newtown, that's exactly how Lanza operated. After that, everything became easy. What six-year-old is going to be able to direct fellow pupils to "clear the classroom"?

Let's return to reality now.

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Old 12-21-2012, 06:47 PM   #165
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An utter impossibility in any classroom I've attended or worked in, and I teach. Classrooms almost always are cul-de-sacs, a single door. Clear the classroom? What, dive through the windows? Barricade? With . . . what?
Barricade inside the classroom so that the shooter is stuck in the hallway. It's not perfect, but if you're responsible for children, you barricade yourself with as many as you can. If someone just steps in and opens fire, no one with a gun is going to be able to do anything worth a dam. The one who doesn't duck for cover is likely to be shot.

Quote:
The gunman simply opens the door, steps in, and has an arcade gallery of people sitting in chairs with nowhere to go and nothing to provide cover. And "when he blows through his ammo"? At Virginia Tech, Seun-hui Cho cruised into classrooms with how many clips? I don't know, but it was many. Adam Lanza, in this latest episode, killed himself with "hundreds" of unexpended rounds still available.

Why didn't the managers of the theater in Aurora, Colorado "clear" it when James Holmes came in with his gas bombs and bullet-spraying weapons?

Oh, and has anyone mentioned the key element upon which these mass killers depend? SURPRISE.

If I'm going to come into a classroom of kids with intent on wreaking utter mass mayhem (and I'm not, despite what some here may suspect), who is my first target? THE TEACHER. It's probably hard for the investigators to determine, but my bet is that in Newtown, that's exactly how Lanza operated. After that, everything became easy. What six-year-old is going to be able to direct fellow pupils to "clear the classroom"?

Let's return to reality now.

caw
Which was the basis of my point. The people who have not barricaded themselves in rooms separate remain vulnerable. The ones in the classroom do not have that ability. Having a gun wouldn't help you either. Those who might be able to use a gun to defend (those in anroom who hear the commotion but not in the room affected) are better served by barricading themselves in the room so that he cannot enter. That is the whole basic lockdown thing.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:48 PM   #166
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Well, again though, teachers who had their doors shut and locked survived the Sandy Hook shooting - as did their students. For instance, a music teacher with a locked door was able to protect her students, and a first grade teacher did the same.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:54 PM   #167
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Well, again though, teachers who had their doors shut and locked survived the Sandy Hook shooting - as did their students. For instance, a music teacher with a locked door was able to protect her students, and a first grade teacher did the same.
Exactly.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:12 PM   #168
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But those who meet an active shooter with immediate and overwhelming force are much more likely to stop him than be victimized by him.
Available evidence (in this thread already) does not support the assumptions required for this to work.


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Against an active shooter, it is far better than nothing, which is (mostly) what we presently have.
We don't actually know that. We do, however, have evidence to the contrary. (New York. Four months ago.)
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:57 PM   #169
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...

We don't actually know that. We do, however, have evidence to the contrary. (New York. Four months ago.)
But I thought the idea of the Empire State Building shooter being a spree killer was turned down.

If he wasn't going to shoot anyone else, the 8-9 wounded are a big problem.

If he's really an example of a rampage killer, the 8-9 wounded are better than more fatalities. He was shot dead. It worked, if he was a rampage killer.

I don't think we can ask for no injuries from bullet ricochets in the middle of a shootout. I think the question of whether a rampage killer in the act of killing as many people as possible should be shot by someone who definitely knows what they are doing is self-evident.

If folks don't agree with that, we need to stop having SWAT teams in the US (and many other places).

I don't think the teachers are usually experienced enough. Kids might get the gun. There are lots of reasons why I disagree with civilians being prepared for a rampage killer in a school, but I do like the killer being shot before he kills more entirely vulnerable people, especially children.
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