Wednesday, August 10, 2016

well, that's done

We had CRASE training today, better known as active-shooter training.

It was pretty much what it was last year. That was a relief in that my dept. chair was sent to more-intensive training where they actually took part in a *simulated event* (I don't think they could do that for all faculty or staff, not without careful screening first - it would take just one person falling and breaking an ankle in a "mad dash" down stairs, or someone like me going into a full-blown asthma attack for some reason, for it to go really bad really fast)

But still, it was bad enough. Different cop this year so different perspective. He was big on the idea of, if the shooter isn't IN YOUR BUILDING, to get the H out of there as fast as you can, and even if he (and I use "he" on purpose, 91% of the mass shooters have been men) is, if you can break out a classroom window and leave that way, to do it.

(Question: could I break a classroom window if I had to? I don't know. We have big heavy chairs but I don't know if I could. Of course, I will never get the chance to try unless such time as I HAVE TO succeed at it....)

The good news is the lab rooms in which I teach many of my classes have back doors that exit onto a parking lot. (The other good news is my building is isolated from main campus, so unless Biology was being *specifically* targeted, we'd be able to bug out fast enough to be safe. And I'd pile any student who hadn't a vehicle in my car and get them somewhere.....)

The worst part was the re-enactment. They show a short video that is a re-enactment, made to look like security-cam footage, of the Columbine shootings. It's painful to watch. And this is the strange way my brain works, I guess: for me the worst, the very worst part of it? The shooters are taunting the victims, laughing and joking. They're not doing it firing-squad style like you would see a traitor being executed get. There's such a....dishonor? there. I mean, yes, I guess I should realize that someone who would do that has zero respect for human life but it seems so awful to me that the last earthly words those kids heard was someone taunting them for trying to get away.

What pukes those shooters were. I can't even express my contempt for them in g-rated words.

There were some ideas tossed around of things we could do to make the classrooms safer and the cop - who is fairly new to this whole deal - promised us he'd make appointments and do  walk-throughs to familiarize himself with the building and also work with campus authorities to do things like, you know, have DOORS BE LOCKABLE FROM THE INSIDE. This is a big issue in a lot of our classrooms: I'd have to jump out in the hall, turn the key in the lock (some of which are sticky, and of course when it's a life-or-death situation my hands would be shaking), get back in, and pull the door closed. Not really that easy.

I don't know. As I've said, I hate that I have to give brainspace to this. I do like and respect our campus police; every dealing with them I've had has been positive (and they are armed, so if they showed up on a scene I expect things would come to an end fast).

There was also a program on dealing with Title IX issues. Two slightly sad things:

1. By the current interpretation of Title IX, I was "sexually harassed" by fellow students in junior high. (I was also groped pretty badly a couple of times, which I think goes beyond harassment, but in those days I didn't think I would get anything from reporting it other than to be told "boys will be boys," so I never did)

2. If you see a current student posting something on Facebook or somewhere referring to their being harassed on campus, you are expected to report it, which tells me that's another good reason to not "friend" students on social media. (I have a raft of other reasons why I would not). We are "required reporters," which means if a student comes to my office and tells me he or she is being abused by a partner, or harassed by someone, or was raped, I am required by federal law to report it. I can warn them when they start telling me (though if they say it in an e-mail, I can't do that, I have to report it and e-mail them back that I did). But I cannot promise them confidentiality, in fact, I have to tell them exactly the someone who didn't want anyone else knowing would probably clam up right there.

I understand why they do it that way but....I don't know. There's stuff I'd have liked to have talked out with someone and if I knew they were required to report it somewhere I would not. I guess you can still go to a counselor or a priest/rabbi/minister* and have confidentiality, and I guess that's what I'd tell a student who needed to talk but didn't want what happened revealed

(*And I don't even know about all of them. I know Fr. Brown has talked about "the seal of the confessional" but even then he's not a real priest; he's just a character on a BBC show. But I do think priests are permitted to choose not to reveal things unless there is an immediate danger to other lives)

It strikes me that so many of the stuff I have to give brainspace to now would not exist if everyone followed the Don't Be A Jerk policy that I try to use as a guide. Life would be easier if more people chose to follow the (real) Golden Rule.

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

I think ministers are required to report stuff. I know when I volunteered as a reading tutor, I was required by state law to report anything told to me. Thankfully, no one ever told me anything.