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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:55 pm 
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This thread is being offered as a means for each and every one of us as parents, teachers, administrators, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and, yes, even students to help in enhancing safer schools. With the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, we're seeing pretty much the same old, same old regarding the hand-wringing that goes with something like this. From what I'm seeing now, it's becoming readily apparent that the core of this issue, the fact that 20 very innocent children and 6 dedicated adults lost their lives, is being lost in the rhetoric surrounding the same issue of balancing a person's right to bear arms against the right of people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Many of us in the 285Bound community are intimately familiar with the tragedy that took place at Platte Canyon High School September 27, 2006. Others are also familiar with what took place at Deer Creek Middle School in Littleton February 23, 2010, and with the tragedy at Columbine High School April 20, 1999. We're hoping, because of this "intimacy", if we want to call it that, with every single one of these tragedies, that this community will be more willing to take a stand for safer schools.

We are a Columbine family (two children at school that day, one critically injured, one trapped in the science wing for more than four hours, two others attending Columbine at different times). We are a Platte Canyon family (two graduated from there prior to the tragedy). That, however, doesn't really make us any different from any in the 285Bound community. We've all had our own experiences, no one's level of trauma is any more severe than anyone else's. We are in this together.

In my signature line below are three links. One is to a personal blog. If you're game, please consider visiting and participating. I don't pull any punches in sharing my personal experiences. Another is to our Facebook page. If you have a Facebook account, please consider visiting here, as well. You may not always like what you see, but our intent is to tell it like it is. And, the third is the most important - our website. We took it upon ourselves quite awhile ago to try to do something to help parents, students, schools, and communities at large in addressing a well rounded school safety emergency management program. This website is the result. There's even a way for anyone to register and participate in the Forums section there, as well. It's easy. It's free. Hopefully, you'll find it informative.

The primary goal of our website, though, is to provide a source of information, a database of sorts of links to resource pages that can help in your efforts to enhance safer schools for your own kids.

We're almost always available to answer questions. Good luck, and TEACH PEACE!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:38 am 
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Nest step(s). Hope to keep adding to this thread as we go. One of the things being discussed in another thread on 285Bound is the issue of gun control. I hope our thread here doesn't devolve into the kind of discourse it has in The Courthouse, but the issue of guns must also be part of any discussion we have regarding school safety. That being said, I'd like to encourage each and every one of us who views and/or contributes to the ongoing dialogue in this thread to consider contributions from the perspective of how we might all be able to contribute our thoughts and ideas in a positive way rather than from a perspective of "proving the other guy wrong".

So, here's my first contribution on the issue of "gun violence" in schools (larger societal issue for sure, but am trying to keep this focused on school safety concerns):

It's a pretty well recognized and accepted "fact" that incidents of mass shootings in schools are rare occurrences. Most experts even go so far as to say schools are still a very safe place for our children to be. So, why, then, when they do occur is so much attention focused on their aftermath? My opinion is it's because these are what those in emergency management label as "low probability - high consequence" events. The general issue of gun violence, on the other hand, is more often a much broader "societal issue" than not.

When weighing the likelihood of any act involving gun violence, one must also take into consideration the "demographics" of the event itself. How many were involved? Were there fatalities/injuries? How many fatalities/injuries? Where did the event occur? Urban, suburban, rural? Were drugs and/or alcohol involved? What type of gun(s) was/were used in the event? Was the event related to a domestic dispute? How about a "revenge" motive? Perhaps it was gang related?

I guess what I'm trying to say is the issue of "gun violence" on the face of it would appear to be pretty straightforward to some, while very complex to others. No two incidents are identical. There may be, and often times are, some "common threads", but each and every incident is different. And, each and every incident should become a "lesson" of its own in helping society try to prepare for, and perhaps even mitigate, these tragedies.

Just some food for thought as we enter into discussions on how to enhance safer schools.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:23 am 
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Simple question: What do you consider the difference to be between "communication" and "effective communication"?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:42 am 
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Regarding "communication" vs. "effective communication":

I believe there are some very basic A-B-C's to any kind of communications. We all bring our own belief systems to the table in virtually every communication we have with others. So, how does that influence our ability to communicate effectively? Let's take a look.

Starting with the letter "A":

antagonism vs. anticipation
antipathy vs admiration
Others?

How about the letter "B":
boredom vs. bad-a**
brio vs. awesome
Others?

Now the letter "C":
coordination vs. conflict
cooperation vs. contrariness
Others?

These are just a few.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:08 pm 
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Just in case you haven't already seen it, here's a link to a Position Paper http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheadername1=Content-Disposition&blobheadername2=Content-Type&blobheadervalue1=inline%3B+filename%3D%22SB+08-081+Multi+Agency+Position+Statement.pdf%22&blobheadervalue2=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1251809905970&ssbinary=true explaining SB 08-181 in easier terms to understand and decipher. The key phrase, from my perspective is on the very first page, at the end of the very first paragraph:
Quote:
All districts and the CSI must establish a date by July 1, 2009 for when they expect to be in compliance with NIMS.


This is a valid question to ask school administrators, in particular if anyone should decide to get more actively involved in their kid's schools, i.e.: if their school has, in fact, met this requirement. A starting point for discussion. Not meant in any way, shape, or form to be an opportunity for confrontation.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:20 pm 
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A quote from our website:
Quote:
If you believe it is solely the responsibility of the school they attend, please think again. If you believe it is solely the responsibility of response organizations in your community, please think again. Students, parents, and community are also responsible to help ensure our schools are safe places to be, not only for the kids, but also for the faculty, administration, and maintenance staff of every single school nationwide. If students, parents, and community members mobilize, get educated, get informed, and offer to help, then there can be no more excuses. Students, parents, and community can, no - MUST, have a say and MUST play a role in enhancing safe schools everywhere!

Sadly, far too often, the role of parents, in particular, has been diminished and minimized, sometimes by choice, other times by conditions out of anyone's control. A "proactive" approach to school safety is so much better than a "reactive" one, don't you think?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:57 pm 
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Here's another link from our website to a Federal study finding that schools can do more, although the report couches it from the perspective schools could "benefit" from more Federal guidance. http://www.thepeacechallenge.org/documents/GAO%20Report%20on%20School%20Safety%20Planning%20Highlights.pdf
I agree schools can, and should, do more, but unless we (community) are willing to take the initiative to pitch in and help, as with all things "government", little to nothing will actually get done. We have a saying (and I'm sure some of you have probably heard this before), "When all is said and done, more will be said than done!" It's up to us to change this perspective together.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:20 pm 
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I've shared this link previously, but feel it is well worth sharing again. The author is Greg Ellifritz, a 16-year veteran police officer, spending the last 12 years as the full time tactical training officer for his central Ohio agency.

http://survivalblog.com/2012/03/a-parents-guide-to-surviing-school-rampage-shootings-by-greg-ellifritz.html

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:49 pm 
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From our website at http://www.thepeacechallenge.org/guidance/are-you-ready.html, these are some questions we could be asking ourselves in the event we really are interested in fostering positive enhancements in school safety:


Quote:
The following are some questions you may want to answer before jumping in with both feet. Answers to these questions can help, especially if you decide you'd like to start your own P♦E♦A♦C♦E Challenge group.

1. What can you, a parent or member of the community, do to enhance safe schools?

2. What do you, a parent or member of the community, need to know in order to enhance safe schools?

3. What should you, a parent or member of the community, look for related to school safety at schools in your community?

4. What do children think about safety in their school.

5. How comfortable are you, a parent or member of the community, with methods and procedures for reporting safety concerns at schools in your community?

6. Is access to schools in the community controlled and monitored?

7. Do schools in the community have established policies and procedures on security and emergency preparedness?

8. Do schools in the community have "living" school safety teams, a safety plan and ongoing process, as well as a school crisis team and school emergency/crisis preparedness guidelines in place?

9. Do school and public safety officials use internal security specialists and outside public safety resources to develop safety plans and crisis guidelines?

10. Are school emergency/crisis guidelines tested and exercised?

11. Have school employees, including support personnel, received training on school security and crisis preparedness issues?

12. Do school officials use outside resources and sources in their ongoing school safety assessments?

13. Are you, as a parent or member of the community, honestly doing your part in making schools in the community as safe as they can possibly be?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:45 am 
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Saw this PSA video awhile back. It was finished right around the same time the shootings in Aurora occurred. Please consider sharing it with friends, email contacts, on your FB page if you have one, and anywhere else you can think of. It might just help save a life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5VcSwejU2D0

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