musings on the madness…con’t.

In Education, School Psychology, School reform, School violence on Sunday, 16 December 2012 at 09:49

i truly believe that there were warning signs (especially in childhood, so more evidence that the schools are one of the BEST resources for this information). when someone does something like this, there is always hindsight about things that were “off” or not right. rarely, if ever, does someone do something this horrific in the absence of even some “signs” that something just isn’t right or this person is at risk. it’s just many people do not realize these correlations (and that would be the first step…education for all). but, with confidentiality and an extremely litigious society looking to blame, blame, blame…what can we (as school employees) do??? if we reported these incidents, could you not see the parents who would threaten to sue because of “confidentiality,” “predetermination of disability,” or some such nonsense?

not to mention how short-staffed and over-worked we are. i used to have regular “lunch bunches” with my kids. i can’t even recall the last time i took time out to eat lunch by myself, let alone ate with kids. i work straight through just trying to keep up with the paperwork, legal issues, meetings, and assessment (i won’t discuss how much time it took me on friday to fill out the needed information for my “brand new” evaluation process…), and trying to fulfill all my “duties and responsibilities.” i am not putting the blame directly on administration or “downtown” as what can they do when funds are cut and cut again, programs are eradicated, and we are doing the job of two or three people?

it’s a trickle down effect from the “reformers” and a society that would rather pay athletes than those who teach and work with their children. that said, this “education reform” has all the wrong priorities. instead of blaming the teachers, the unions, etc., cutting salaries and programs, inventing new curricula, money needs to be pouring into education and NOT for reform and new tests and ways to evaluate data.

instead of being able to give my email or number to a kid who may be in distress and alone and in need of a professional to speak to, I WOULD BE FIRED! we are not allowed. while we pour money into “celebrity” we take money away from the very place that turns these kids into celebrities, doctors, teachers, athletes, scientists, etc….the schools. the place children spend 8+ hours a day, 180 days a year. the place where we can identify and intervene in things before they become school shootings.

and we can. and we do. it is just to a much lesser extent because of time, money, and, of course, CYA. what if the shooter did have a trusted adult to call? i am not saying he would have or things would have been different, but i can tell you about times i have intervened (even going to the hospital with a suicidal child after school) and things changed. but, as i said, this is NOT allowed anymore. and, while i DO understand the reasons this is not allowed, i wonder if we were not trying so hard to CYA and keep things on a less personal level, would this have happened. if we weren’t afraid of “making waves” or the massive amounts of paperwork, new curricula every few years, or having so much to do that it stops us from connecting with the very kids we work with, would this have happened. we don’t need more criterion-referenced tests, we don’t need personal evaluation instruments that take 50 hours or more, we don’t need to blame the unions and the teachers…we need to take a hard look at our priorities AS A NATION and realize that something needs to change and it’s not the curriculum. instead of piling money into failing banks and auto companies, we need to save our schools and our kids. because, ultimately, the information you can get from those that spend hours every day with your kids…THAT is more important than ANY test score. we are reacting when we need to be intervening. hindsight is always 20/20, but i truly believe there were signs that went unnoticed or worse…unspoken.

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