The Shooting
Date: Apr 14th, 2006 8:01:10 pm - Subscribe
Mood: cautious

The first thing I would do is to tell the secretary to call a code red while I called for an ambulance. Our P.E. teacher has first aid and CPR training, so the child would be in good hands until the ambulance arrived. The code red would inform everyone in the school that all students would need to assume their code red position, hidden from windows. A code red would also signal that classroom and school doors would be locked.

Next, I would tell the secretary what had happened and have the counselor and nurse (with supplies) go to the cafeteria while I called the police. I would then head to the cafeteria.

On my way to the cafeteria, I would use my school cell phone to call central office and let them know what was going on so they could answer any calls that came in. I would let them know what I had done and the condition of the boy. I would ask them how they wanted the secretary to answer calls from parents or news media. In our small town, we have lots of volunteer fire fighters and others who have scanners and hear all of the police reports as they come through. It wouldn’t take long for the word to spread.

As soon as we found out who the boy who had been shot was, I would call his parents and let them know what was going on so they could come up to the school or meet him at the hospital. I would think that central office would want to set a time and place for a news briefing so that we wouldn’t have to spend all of our time talking to area reporters.

Just because the news would be spreading around town so quickly anyway, we would probably need to make an announcement on the radio that there had been a shooting, that the injured child’s parents had already been contacted, and that everyone else was safe and sound - but that decision would be up to central office. We would not want to let the public know either boy’s name, but it would be important for the public to know that the parents had already been contacted so that they would know it wasn’t their son. If we made such an announcement, we would probably also need to announce that the parents needed to stay away from the school until further notice because the shooter had fled the building and the school was in lockdown to prevent his return.

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The CPS Dilemma
Date: Apr 10th, 2006 3:17:20 pm - Subscribe

I would have the secretary go ahead and schedule the meeting with Mrs. Bortz in the morning if I were available.

I would listen to Mrs. Bortz’ concerns. Then I would let her know that I appreciated her contacting me about this situation. I would politely let her know that it is not her responsibility to deal with this kind of situation, so she shouldn’t have to worry about it. She could tell the parent that she doesn’t have anything to do with reports to CPS and that the parent is welcome to call the school about it.

If the parent called, I would let her know that the school was not able to divulge who and how many reports they had made to CPS. I would also let her know that anyone who works with children is required by law to report to CPS if there is even suspected child abuse for the protection of the children. I would tell her that even if someone has reported her to CPS that she does not need to worry if there is not any abuse going on. A call to CPS only means that they will visit the home and investigate the matter. It does not mean that the parent will be found guilty. I would remind her that this is for the protection of the children.

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Lets Do Lunch
Date: Apr 10th, 2006 3:02:02 pm - Subscribe

I doubt seriously that I would be available for a lunch on such short notice. I would probably have my secretary call him and let him know that I cannot do lunch. If I did not need any information on life insurance, and he was from out of town, I would probably have the secretary ask him to mail any information that he has for me.

If he were a local agent, it might be important for me to meet with him for public relations. The secretary could tell him that he was welcome to make an appointment after school hours. Whenever he did make the appointment, I would ask my secretary to buzz me after a short period of time to make sure that I did not get stuck listening to a sales pitch all day. I would hate to spend valuable school time on something like a sales pitch that I didn’t need.

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To Teach Or Not To Teach?
Date: Apr 10th, 2006 2:45:29 pm - Subscribe

I believe this is a great idea. I think it is easy for a principal to forget what it is like in the classroom. I had a classmate in one of my educational leadership classes whose principal did this. I might be able to contact her so that we could talk to her principal and find out how this works for him.

· The principal might have a little more respect from the teachers
· The principal might have more respect for the teachers
· The community would appreciate a “hands-on” principal

Things to Consider:
· The principal’s position is already extremely overwhelming, a class every semester might be a bit much (maybe every other semester? Tutoring after school?)
· We would need to hire a full-time assistant principal at the elementary campuses to handle problems that arise when the principal is in class(right now the two elementary campuses share one assistant principal)
· It would be a little more difficult to arrange at the elementary level since students are with the same teacher all day (maybe the principal could teach specials in the classrooms or take a class for a day once a month?)
· The students might not have as much of a fear factor about going to the principal’s office when they misbehave (pro or con?)

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The Out-Of-Control Student
Date: Apr 10th, 2006 2:22:20 pm - Subscribe

I would want to make sure that the students were protected (from each other and from teachers). I would also want to make sure that teachers felt protected enough to be able to control their classrooms. It seems like it would be very difficult for either of the P.E. teachers to ever feel like they had control of their classroom again with Cassandra there. Our student code of conduct allows for physical restraint when necessary. Obviously it was necessary here, to some extent. It is hard to say on the “pushing against the wall” part. I honestly don’t know if this is a common technique to handle students like this since I’ve never worked in middle school or high school.

I would want to record everything that the teachers had told me. I would also want to get Cassandra’s side of the story. Considering the adrenaline flowing and the condition of Cassandra and the teachers, it would probably be best to have the teachers wait outside for a minute while I talked to Cassandra to get her version of the occurrence. I would also want to get the other girl’s and any other witnesses’ version of the story.

According to our code of conduct, “assault resulting in bodily injury” – the bite that drew blood - would be an offence serious enough to warrant an AEP placement. If this is the first time that Cassandra has reacted in such a way, then counseling and a short AEP placement might be enough. If possible, I might have someone from Juvenile probation arrange a time to meet with Cassandra and see if there was anything they could do to work with her and her family. Obviously, if I decided on AEP placement, I would have to make sure I followed all of the guidelines and procedures, including contacting the parents, which went along with that.

I don’t think the special ed. factor affects this since the parents have refused to have Cassandra tested and she isn’t a special ed. student. The fact that she has been retained and is bigger than the other students makes it even more imperative that she is able to control her temper and the teachers are able to be proactive in avoiding this type of scenario if at all possible.

The teachers might need to talk to a counselor after being overpowered by a student like that. The teaching staff as a whole might need some more training on how to handle situations like this so that they don’t escalate to this level.

I believe that our high school administration in the past has purposely placed strong male teachers in classrooms throughout the school so that they could be called to assist if a teacher had a problem with a student like this. That might be an option to consider.

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