Florida School Shooting

I was tempted to entitle this, Wanna Fight?, but forbearance got the better of me.

I wrote about this event here, Nikolas Cruz, the Shooter and the Solution, which you may read or not as it amuses you to do so. In summary, the things I'm interested in are:
Do we arm the school teachers?
Should we be spending more time and money on mental health in public school?
Does each school get its own police force?
Is the real solution something that I haven't listed?

I'm disposing of the entire gun control argument. We passed new gun control law, and we still have terrorist attacks at schools. Repealing the 2A isn't going to happen, and neither is an outright ban on firearms. So whatever the real solution is, it has to involve something else.

I read this article, One Teacher’s Brilliant Strategy to Stop Future School Shootings—And It’s Not About Guns By Glennon Doyle Melton from Reader's Digest
, which I found impressive.

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you refer to anyone who has a liberal point of view as "the loony left," and do not refer at all to the reactionary right. In addition, CW Martin finds great agreement with you, and he supports "looney[sic] binning anyone with a Dem registration." (BTW -- My father felt the same way about those who were registered Republicans and were not billionaires.) Personally, I reject all extremists as unrealistic. IMHO, they all live in Egypt.
Your "solution" is interesting. The main problem is, that at current remuneration levels, can we attract into teaching the level of talented people who also have the time to dedicate to screening those with questionable mental stability? You see, not only do most of our most talented people go into professions other than teaching for better remuneration and prestige, those talented, intelligent people who teach, often have to take extra jobs in order to pay their bills. I worked with many peers who did home repair and remodeling, and/or painting, and/or worked for retail establishments in their off-duty hours. They had families. They did not have a spouse with a great-paying job. And they still had bills to pay. I do agree that schools are great gathering points, and a lot could be done with heading off mental health problems by analyzing students at young ages, but we need to take social workers who are already working in offices, and place them in the schools.
As far as guns are concerned, we have tried giving guns to everyone who wants them, and I mean every American. Those who are too young to buy them legally, get them from adults in their lives, often living parents. Those with mental defects can most often get guns, too. We even had the current POTUS remove some restrictions in getting guns for those who are mentally unbalanced. So, politics does play a part. Since allowing everyone who wants a gun to have one has not resulted in less gun violence and deaths, why not try some common-sense restrictions?
Do I want to ban handguns? No! But, I would start by listening to the majority of police officials, and the majority of the American public, and limit the sale of some weapons that can cause massacres in seconds! Remember, I am supporting police officials, here, not the "loony left" to which you refer. I have one son-in-law who is a card-carrying member of the NRA. His father fired a hand gun to scare off a home invader a number of years ago. I do not want either of them, or anyone else defending themselves, their loved ones, or their property, to be disarmed. The choice is NOT between all weapons for everyone, and no guns for anyone. There is a common-sense middle ground here.
IMHO government governs best which governs from the political center. We should use the best ideas from either extreme, and put those ideas through a common-sense filter. It is transparently obvious that the status quo will lead to regular tragedies at schools, at concerts, and at all gathering places in America until we stop living in Egypt on this issue and actually do something to make things better, other than simply pray. Prayer is a good thing, but prayer alone cannot stop these terrors. As JFK stated, "Here on earth,
G-d's work must truly be our own."

you refer to anyone who has a liberal point of view as "the loony left," and do not refer at all to the reactionary right.
It's supposed to be the Moonbats and the Wingnuts. Sometimes I forget to use the correct terminology. What can I say? My memory isn't what it once was.

CW has a few good ideas from time to time. The flaw in this one is that there isn't enough room in the cracker factory for everyone who desperately needs to be there. We'll send the excess to Egypt - they have lots of room in Egypt.

Current public school teacher salaries in Toledo range from $40,000 to $69,000, with the median being $53,200. These people are not making the big bucks. Still, there are advantages, such as health car benefits that verge on being sinful and a number of paid holidays that is second to none. Still, not the big bucks.

The skill set for a public school teacher that I envision has yet to be completely defined, but it probably could be. I have no objection to raising a school teacher's salary to the point where talent like this will be attracted, but it would require completely redesigning the system, and a lot of public school teachers simply would not make the new grade. What I object to (salary-wise) is paying an administrator more than an instructor. The school teacher does the work and makes a huge difference in a child's life. Let the school teacher get paid the big bucks.

The gun control question has been hashed and rehashed to the point of no return. In the case of all school shootings, numerous laws existed which were supposed to prevent such terrorist activities from happening, and did not. I'm disposing of this particular facet because it's clear that it isn't just gun laws (or gun control, take your pick) that do not work, it's law that doesn't work. I think an imperfect illustration is the battered wife with a restraining order - that piece of paper should keep the drunken knucklehead wife beater away from her, right? And we all know it doesn't. Additionally, I'm reluctant to try any gun control laws that aren't written and endorsed by a group of people that are:
A) Real Constitutionals; scholars who truly understand the U.S. Constitution
B) Strong supporters of the U.S. Constitution, including the Second Amendment
I don't think we have either group in an elected office anywhere.

IMHO government governs best which governs from the political center.
Well, Dale, you nailed it. Take, for instance, the United State Supreme Court. The USSC justices should all agree on their decisions, and by that I mean almost all decisions should be unanimous. The judges we have now don't agree and are divided along party lines. That is not the way the highest court was supposed to work. And, surprise surprise, the USSC is close to being dysfunctional. As for the Federal Government, there will always be between one and five percent that oppose any particular bill. The overwhelming majority should be able to reach a solid agreement by the time any bill gets voted on. Today, the mere idea of this happening is laughable.

Prayer is a good thing, but prayer alone cannot stop these terrors. As JFK stated, "Here on earth, G-d's work must truly be our own."
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition?

What I'd like to know, and what we can never know, is the number of mass shootings that have been prevented, and how they were prevented. There has to be a few, but I fear that we'll never know. We can guess at what works, what should work, but we'll never know for sure.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Apparently, we do agree that political compromise makes the most sense and most often leads to better government. I also share your concern about how individuals in both the legislative and judicial branches of the Federal government have become far too extreme in their political stances.
As far as Second Amendment rights are concerned, I do disagree with you somewhat. There is no dearth of Second Amendment supporters in public office. In fact, in recent years, more and more laws have been passed doing away with common sense controls on weapons under the cover of protecting Second Amendment rights. Even the mentally unstable are often allowed to obtain -- legally -- weapons which can massacre, and have killed large numbers of those who are, far too often, totally innocent victims.
Why not try something different? Why not try taking the common sense steps that most law enforcement officers want us to take? If such steps do nothing, then let's try something else.

The entire question about mental illness and owning a firearm should revolve around privacy, and I don't believe it does. It would seem that everyone agrees that a seriously mentally ill person should not be allowed to own firearms and/or ammunition, but to broadcast that an individual is mentally ill will have an adverse affect on their life. In reality, most of the time the mental health professional (head shrinker) will request that the firearms be surrendered to a family member for safekeeping, and most of the time that's what happens. Most of the time.

Other times the shrink du jour will get a judge involved, and depending on the judge this can turn into a real circus. You wouldn't believe some of the stories I've heard first hand about the idiot on the bench, and some of these judges are stupid. I mean plain old stump dumb. Others aren't, and when you get a bright one it's easy. The cops show up when the mental health services consumer (got that?) isn't home, someone lets them in, and they confiscate the hardware. It rarely gets this far, but sometimes it does.

The problem I see with civil rights and mental health is abuse by authorities. In the bad old days, someone could be quietly locked up without fanfare and medicated against their will. So, if you wanted to get rid of the old ball and chain, all you needed was a cooperative head shrinker and a little white lie or two, and that's that. Remember that visiting day is Wednesday, and you're not allowed to get the mental health services consumer any sharp objects. Should the consumer become recalcitrant and try to escape, they'd get does up with Thorazine, which would even work on someone like me, who is used to dealing with life while in an impaired state. If the hospital was progressive, the consumer might even get a lobotomy or shock therapy, all against their will.

Things have improved since those easy times, but not as much as you'd think. I, personally, know of one murder at the State hospital that was never investigated. That's just the one I know of. Incidents of violence and abuse by authorities are too numerous to count.

Getting back to my original point, all this can and does happen because someone, or several people acting in collusion, said that a particular individual is exhibiting questionable behavior. So before anything else happens, this situation should be fixed.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

We're dealing with human beings here. No system will operate in an optimal manner. But, we can do better than we now do. We must both help those who are genuinely mentally ill, and protect the public concurrently. That's tough to do.
One thing though, as a society, we must deal with those with mental illnesses more nearly the way we deal with other illnesses. We must acknowledge that an illness like bipolar disorder can be just as much beyond the control of the individual who has it, as is heart disease. We should remove the stigma associated with mental illnesses. That alone would make it more likely that those with mental illnesses will seek the help they need to deal with their illnesses and to take the medications which, when properly prescribed, keep them acting in an acceptable manner.
We must recognize, too, that human beings are imperfect. Not everyone will comply completely. After all, do all of those with heart ailments take their medications correctly and correctly modify their diets?
In the long run, if we do better in this field, the individuals will benefit and all of society will benefit as well.

School administrators should NOT be paid more than teachers. You stated the case well.
The problem started when the word principal became a noun instead of an adjective. Let me explain. Back 100 years ago or so, most schools were small, local entities. As schools grew larger and more complex, some administrative duties needed to be done. One teacher was selected (heaven knows how this was done) to do administrative duties along with instruction. That person was called the "principal teacher." The word "principal" was an adjective. These principal teachers were paid a little more, because they did a little more in addition to teaching. Coaches are paid a little more because they do a little more, too. Get it?
Somewhere along the way, someone got the idea to make school administrators into full-time jobs. Soon the word "principal" became a noun, and was attached to the primary school administrator. And, even though there is little evidence that the job principals now do is more difficult or more important than instructing students, it is common practice to pay principals more money. Some principals see themselves as bosses and of having higher status than a "mere" teacher too.
FYI -- I was offered the opportunity to become a school administrator my third year of teaching! I turned it down. I enjoyed being in the classroom too much to do that job! In addition, one of the guys with whom I play senior softball retired as a school administrator. He would tell you, as he has told me several times, that his best years in the school business, were the years when he was a classroom teacher.

I never knew that. Thanks! I'm always interested in the history of the English language.

As I may have mentioned, my mother was a school teacher. Whitmer HS, business subjects. Typing, shorthand, bookkeeping, etc. She never had to paddle anyone, but mom was a real athlete. During the initial busing era, there would occasionally be fights in the hall, and mom would wade right in and separate the combatants and make them behave. One day (as related by Mom) two girls got into it, and one girl would not quit. So my dear old mom tossed the erstwhile combatant to the floor, pinned her and held her there until she cooled off and promised to behave. The kids were impressed.

My maternal grandmother was a school teacher at Harvard elementary in Toledo. I recently spoke with one of her students who enthusiastically said that my grandmother was a great teacher, and that everyone loved her. She taught second and third grade, as I remember.

My maternal great-grandmother was a school teacher in a one room school house. She had 11 students ranging in age from 5 to 17. As I understand it the younger ones learned pretty fast, because they were always trying to do what the older students did - and so progressed.

Selecting a principal teacher, given the time and the probable size of the student body, likely consisted of asking for a volunteer. Maybe they drew straws.

I know that when my paternal grandfather went to grade school, Latin was a required subject. When my father went to school, Latin was an elective. Most schools don't offer Latin anymore; you have to attend college to get it.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

I have one uncle who is a retired teacher. He taught in the Detroit Public Schools. One of my cousins taught for a few years, but she went back to school and became a pharmacist. Her husband taught for a few years, went back to school, and became a CPA. He then went to law school, and became a very highly recruited person, working for all 3 large American auto makers at different times, as well as General Electric. They are just two, among MANY examples of former teachers who seek employment in other professional fields, motivated primarily, although not exclusively, by better remuneration in those other professional fields. Unfortunately, too many in the general public view teaching as a profession most do because they lack the skills to pursue a career in a more lucrative profession. The reality is that most teachers choose to teach even though they have a wide variety of talents and abilities. As some put it, teaching is a "calling." And, too many school administrators never really wanted to be teachers at all. They were always looking for a different job...like becoming a school administrator!
My wife and I both had careers in teaching with the Toledo Public Schools. My wife also taught in the Jefferson School system outside Monroe Michigan, and in the Bedford School District, before we had children.
Before I was a teacher, I worked for my father in his very small business. He had a jewelry store in Swayne Field Shopping Center. We had just one other employee working with my father and me. I worked there from the ages of 14 to 29, when I became a teacher.
As a full-time teacher, I was also active in the Toledo Federation of Teachers. I served on the Board of Directors for TFT for about 30 years. I was also active at the state level. I served as an officer in the Ohio Federation of Teachers for 22 years -- 16 as Recording Secretary, and 6 as Treasurer. So, I do have experience both as a worker, and as a supervisor. At different times, I negotiated employee contracts both as a worker, and as an administrator with a fiduciary responsibility for monetary expenditures. I would point out, that I was, all of that time, a full-time classroom teacher. And, I loved teaching!

What subjects did you teach? Idle curiosity on my part.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

years. I taught all subjects many years. I sometimes teamed with another teacher and taught both classes Social Studies, and the other teacher taught both Science and Health.
Then, I went to DeVeaux when it was a Junior High School, then a Middle School. I was there for 23 1/2 years. Most years, I taught 8th Grade Social Studies, which was mostly American History and Government. I did teach 7th Grade Social Studies some periods for two years while there. At that time, the 7th Grade curriculum was part of American History, and one semester of Ohio History.
My degree is in Political Science. I minored in Economics. I went back to school to become a certified, later licensed, teacher for grades 1-8. Technically, I was certified to teach any subject in grades 1-8.
I run into my former students a lot! The other day, I was at an auto repair place, getting my car washed, and the young man who took care of me asked if I had been a teacher. He was one of my former students. I praised him for doing important work. Saturday, I was in the men's locker room after working out at the JCC/YMCA on Sylvania Ave., and a young man asked me if I was still teaching at DeVeaux. He was my student about 26 years ago! He is now a corrections officer, working with juvenile offenders. I praised him for doing that thankless job.

Irma Schlegel was the Dean of Girls at Whitmer during my days there. She was a gal that garnered respect.
During my years at Washington Junior High and Whitmer Senior High, I took one year of Spanish, two years of Latin, and one year of German.

Hey Dale.

I used your historical explanation of the school principal today - the Colorado teachers walked out today and my nephew is a music teacher in Colorado - and no one had a clue as to what I was talking about. There has always been a Principal, you see. Anyway, thanks for the history lesson.

Question: What is the maximum number of students for a class? My classes were typically about 30 students and change, and the rooms were a bit crowded.

Question: Should students with special needs be included in a regular class? I'm talking about various learning disabilities, that kind of thing.

Another question: What happens to exceptionally bright children? One of my classmates was moved up a grade in elementary school, and I met a girl once who was moved up three grade levels prior to 8th grade.


Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

*The word principal has been used as a noun for around 100 years. Most people, whether or not they are teachers, have no idea how this evolved. That's why I think that it's important to put the position of modern-day principal in historical context.
For the modern era, the question is, should those who occupy the position of principal be considered as the principal teacher, the "master teacher," in a given building? From my experience, most of the best teachers want to stay in the classroom. Few excellent teachers leave the classroom for a career in administration. Many who do so change their career path because they want to pay their bills, and somehow, principals are usually paid substantially more money than are classroom teachers.
*In most school districts, classroom sizes are only limited by the space available. Some classrooms have so many students that they do not have enough desks for all of them! Classroom size is one area of negotiation where collective bargaining is allowed. Many states do not allow collective bargaining for any public employees, including teachers. When I taught in TPS, classroom sizes were limited to the low 30s at most, and at least one TPS superintendent cooperated to get class sizes lower. There is a lot of research showing that student achievement improves significantly when class sizes are lowered.
*Local public school districts have no real choice about including special needs students in the regular classroom. Federal laws and state laws require this type of inclusion. As a classroom teacher, I seldom taught a full year without having some special needs students included in my regular classroom. In my early years, whether or not these children would be part of my classroom was determined by their special ed teacher and me. In my latter years, entire classes of special needs students would enter my classroom every day, along with their teacher, and we would team-teach together. If inclusion is done properly, special needs students get extra support so that they, and the regular students with whom they are included, can both get the help they need and deserve. The problem is, that, too often, central administrators see inclusion as a way to save money by overloading a classroom with extra, special needs, students, and the regular ed teacher is left to cope with the increased number of students with little or no extra help. That leads to tragedies for all concerned...except, of course, the pencil pushers in central administration and at state Departments of Education.
*Exceptionally bright students have several options. Most school districts have special programs for bright students. In TPS, they called that program, "Horizons." In Sylvania's public schools, they called it GATE (Gifted and Talented Education). Our local grandchildren attend the Swanton Public Schools. Both are accelerated in Math and go to a higher grade for Math every school day. When TPS had the Junior High and Middle School systems, there were "honors" classes for Language, Math, and Science, for exceptionally bright students. On occasion, children are skipped an entire grade. This should be done on a case-by-case basis. Many students are ready academically for this, but not ready socially, emotionally, and/or physically. Research shows that, with few exceptions, keeping students with others close to their own ages is best for their overall development. When I taught in an elementary school, I often obtained higher grade level books for my brighter students. Most teachers accommodate such students well. Once again, research shows that very bright students will excel as they go through school and do just fine, even when "held back" academically to be with students their own age!

I don't have time to write as much as I'd like. I'll write a little more later on.

I appreciate your commentary, time and effort. I remember the 'honors' program pretty well, although about half the students that were in an honors class didn't get there because of aptitude. I came down to who you knew, which teachers had a high opinion of you, and which did not. Whitmer had a phase 1 - 5 program going on, and it worked well for some, but not so much for others. It was too easy to group problem students into all Phase 1 classes.

It wouldn't surprise me that class size is important, especially in elementary school. If I gave you a class of 20 students, each student is going to get more attention, energy, and effort from their instructor than a class of 35. It may not matter much in HS, but in elementary school I could see a difference.

Thanks again.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Lyin' Don , lying once again! How do you know when the Michelin Man who never met a burger he didn't like, is lying? When his lips are moving!
Here's what Sir-Tweets-A-Lot says he said: "I never said 'give teachers guns' like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience - only the best. 20% of teachers..."
Oh. I see. Potuzzi never said to give teachers guns, he just said that 20% of teachers SHOULD have guns! That's SO DIFFERENT! Here's the Faux news headline: "Trump calls for arming teachers..." But, in Egypt, where Lyin' Don lives, Faux News is real news, so he cannot accuse THEM of stating he wanted the "...arming of teachers..." even though it's right there on their website.
The Michelin Man who never met a burger he didn't like, just cannot bring himself to criticize either Faux News or the Russian government under his bromance buddy, Vlad the Impaler! But, he can criticize (once again) HIS Attorney General and longtime Republican U.S. Senator, Jeff Sessions! And he can criticize foreign countries who have been longtime American allies! Hmmm...
MAGA should be immediately changed to MRGA: "Make Russia Great Again."

The Michelin Man is an embarrassment for our country.

Hope I didn't offend anyone!

as Attorney General AGAIN! Here's Faux News coverage of a former Attorney General under W, clearly stating that the Michelin Man who never met a burger he didn't like, is wrong to criticize Sessions for his actions on this topic: http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2018/02/28/former-attorney-general-muk...
Can any of you defenders of the words of Sir-Tweets-A-Lot list any Democrat, or any Republican, who has criticized Republicans more than Potuzzi? Above is another example of a "faithful Republican" who is upset about the tweets by Sir-Tweets-A-Lot! Once again, I state personally, I LOVE his tweets. He reveals himself in his tweets.

Meghan McCain said it best in an article I link to below: "But please, continue making excuses for the inexcusable." Mikey, if the shoe fits...
Don't you love it when Republicans feud? I do! LMAO

to see Lyin' Don the Michelin Man who never met a burger he didn't like, impeached and removed from office. Conservatives just don't trust him!
This from Tucker Carlson on the Faux News website: "Trump then said that in important cases, government should 'take the guns first, then go through due process.'"
"'Imagine if Barack Obama had said that,' Carlson said, noting that it would immediately elicit calls for impeachment and secession on the right."
His second sentence is almost exactly what I wrote right here in the Swamp some time ago, and that has been reiterated by others here as well. Please refer to my "What if..." listing. If Barack Obama had said and/or done even ONE of the many horrible things Sir-Tweets-A-Lot has written and stated, the conservatives would have lost their minds!
True "faithful" Republicans want Lyin' Don gone, and want him replaced by Mike Pence. Conservatives LOVE Pence. He is their kind of politician! I can see and hear their slogan now: "We Like Mike!" Hmmm...for us older Americans, this sounds familiar.

President Obama and his administration did plenty of horrible things while he held the office, President Donald Trump, of course, had been a veritable saint thus far, and I have every confidence that he'll continue to bring glory, prosperity, and security to the citizens of the United States.

How am I doing so far, Dale?

I'm tempted to begin with Harry Truman and go right down the line, offering the most obvious or widely known scandals about each President, but I'm tired and not thinking too straight.

The deal is that every President sees himself as an absolute saint and he does whatever it takes to get him through the day. Almost all his decisions come down to the lesser of a multitude of evils, and no matter what you do there is always some group, somewhere, that wants to burn you in effigy - only because they don't have the real thing.

The POTUS represents all of us, and does his best to do so equally. Even from the nosebleed seats, we can't see that ever happening. So, some folks are pissed off, others are happy and go on about their business.

What I haven't seen is a lot of schadenfreude from the right over winning the election, but the gnashing of teeth, the screams of frustration, and the outright lies coming from the Left are deafening.

Message to the Left: Lighten up. You've got six more years to go, then you can try again. In the meantime, give it a rest.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Republicans the way Lyin' Don the Michelin Man who never met a burger he didn't like, has. Do you really think that the conservative right trusts Potuzzi? Do you really think they don't want to replace him with Pence? Are Tucker Carlson, Meghan McCain, Jeff Sessions, and Mike Mukasey all on the political left? Should they all "Lighten up?"

Saying "they all were bad," does nothing to further the discussion. BTW -- How many wives did Obama have? How many times was Obama accused of cheating on his wife? How many times did Obama say -- on tape -- that attractive women he knew enjoyed it when he grabbed them in their private areas? How many times did Obama disparage John McCain's Viet Nam service? I could go on, and on, and on, and on...
MJ, as Meghan McCain stated: "But please, continue making excuses for the inexcusable."
MRGA. Make Russia Great Again!

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