I Need Some Help Educating Teachers


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MikeIsaj
September 29, 2005, 05:10 PM
I have been asked to speak to my childrens elementary school teachers about handguns in the school. They want to know the best way to physically handle a situation where a handgun would be found on school grounds. My first thought is, leave the gun alone, isolate the area from students, maintain security with an adult presence and wait for the police to arrive. The idea is that the teachers are largely unfamiliar with handguns, and it may be evidence of a crime dumped on school property.

I intend to give them info on safe gun handling in the event the gun must be moved immediatly. I'm having trouble thinking of scenarios that would necessitate the immediate movement of the gun, other than actually disarming a student.

Anyone have any ideas? Also does anyone know of any programs of this nature already offered?

Thanks for the help.

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Havegunjoe
September 29, 2005, 05:37 PM
It sounds like you have the basics covered. I don't know why the gun would need to be moved, that might be tampering with evidence.

Amish_Bill
September 29, 2005, 05:45 PM
Some locations might be inherently un-securable... just like you take a car off a road if possible, you might have to remove it from a hallway that connects two parts of the building. (of course, this is ignoring the part where a squirt-gun in a school will possibly get the SWAT team called)

geekWithA.45
September 29, 2005, 05:54 PM
This is a fantastic opportunity for you to familiarize some folks to firearms, and de-mythologize them a bit.

If a gun must be moved by someone unfamiliar, the 4 rules are a good place to start: watch the muzzle, and don't touch the trigger. Grasp it firmly by the stocks, the way it was intended to be gripped, not weakly by the end of the muzzle with two fingers as if it were a dead mouse. Don't try to catch a dropped firearm. Most modern guns in good repair won't discharge when dropped, but will if you fumble your fingers into the guard trying to catch it. Stress that dropping the mag does not clear the chamber, and that no mechanical safety should be trusted.

Also, you'll find that teacher culture is pretty liberal, and as a result, anyone who knows anything about guns is probably closeted, hiding their dirty shame from their peers. Maybe you can coax a few out of hiding.

skidmark
September 29, 2005, 06:04 PM
I intend to give them info on safe gun handling in the event the gun must be moved immediatly. I'm having trouble thinking of scenarios that would necessitate the immediate movement of the gun, other than actually disarming a student.

Here's a hint that might keep everybody satisfied regarding their various levels & sources of paranoia -- get a paper grocery bag (known to some south of you as a "sack") and cover the darned thing till the cops get there.

Elementary schools are full of adults that stand in the hallways, and as a former inmate of one of those establishments I can think of nothing better than the Principal having to stand over the bag, directing little kiddies to walk around it, till the cops arrive and sort it all out. :neener: Maybe the janitor (do they still have "janitors" or are the "building maintenance technicians" nowadays?) could round up 4 of those wet=floor signs & corral the bag so it does not get kicked by passing little feet.

Last fun thought - with the "GUN! - Oh, my!" covered when the cops arrive, they could think it might need the Bomb Squad to check out the bag "just for the sake of the childrens' safety." :D That way everybody gets to play the game - remember if the BS comes the Fire Departrment will have to "stand by" in case anything happens.

All the grown-ups gett to play with their big-people toys, the school gets toi try out its Fire Drill/Evacuation/Lock-Down plan, and all the kids can see themselves on the TV news during dinner that night. The next morning all the gun forums will be buzzing about the over-reaction of the hoplophobes.

I am not evil and twisted. I am a government bureaucrat who sometimes likes to imagine what would happen if everybody got to play all at the same time. (Can you spell c-l-u-s-t-e-r ....?)

stay safe.

skidmark

WayneConrad
September 29, 2005, 06:08 PM
"Now that we've talked about safe handling of firearms, there is one more thing I want to bring up. And that is what you will do if that firearm is in the hands one of your students and he or she is firing it. I'm talking about Columbine.

"The sad truth is that even an on-campus policer officer can't keep people from dying when this happens. You can hope that the officer is close and in a position to do something about it, but that's trusting the lives of our kids to luck. But what if each of you were prepared to defend the lives of your students yourself. There is at least one of you in each classroom. Compare that to one campus cop.

"It means that those of you who chose to do so would learn to use and carry a firearm. I know that's not fun, and it's even distasteful to some of you. If this horrible event came to pass in your classroom, however, you might find it worse to have to watch your students die and be able to do nothing about it.

"It also means getting the laws, both federal and state, changed so that the lawful carry of firearms on campus would be allowed by responsible adults. I mean by you, of course. If we can't trust our kid's lives to you guys, who can we trust? But the law has to be changed before you even have the option to defend our kids.

"A metal detector's beeps cannot stop someone intent upon harming our kids from coming onto the campus. But you can stop the carnage as soon as it starts.

"Please think about this. Thank you."

Gordon Fink
September 29, 2005, 06:46 PM
Well, that’s exactly why we need to ban guns!

Seriously, though, do as geekWithA.45 suggested and use the opportunity to demystify firearms. Explain the four rules, show them how to clear common types of firearms (if possible), and don’t worry too much about contaminating potential evidence. Finally, of course, offer a free shooting lesson to anyone interested.

~G. Fink

CAS700850
September 30, 2005, 09:58 AM
Sorry I found this late. Best advice I ever saw given at a crime scene was a Sergeant telling a patrol officer to dump out a garbage can and place it on top of the gun, then stand by to make sure no one moved the can, until forensics got to the scene. This would work great in a school setting. Every classroom has a garbage can. This would maintain the intergrity of the handgun as evidence (no new fingerprints to explain), while securing the item until LEO's arrive on scene.

svtruth
September 30, 2005, 10:15 AM
I think there was a thread called Eddie Eagle Works featuring a story about a couple of young'uns who found a gun in the playground, one guarded it the other ran to get a teacher.
Good luck.

BrokenPaw
September 30, 2005, 11:24 AM
I have been asked to speak to my childrens elementary school teachers about handguns in the school. They want to know the best way to physically handle a situation where a handgun would be found on school grounds.Mike, they're schoolteachers. Just tell them the standard four rules:

Stop!
Don't touch!
Leave the area!
Tell an adult!

:D

-BP (kidding, no actual teachers need flame me)

Gordon Fink
September 30, 2005, 01:21 PM
Best advice I ever saw given at a crime scene was a Sergeant telling a patrol officer to dump out a garbage can and place it on top of the gun, then stand by to make sure no one moved the can, until forensics got to the scene.…

I suspect the forensic value of a crime gun tossed in a public area will fall somewhere between mostly useless and completely useless.

~G. Fink

TrapperReady
September 30, 2005, 01:46 PM
So far, I can't think of a single reason for a teacher to have to handle a firearm found on school property. Either place a trashcan or something similar over it and have a responsible adult stand watch until the police arrive. Unless someone messes around with it, the gun WILL NOT "just go off".

Frankly, I'd be a lot more concerned about having someone who was unfamiliar with a firearm trying to handle it. One thing I've noticed with novices is that their fingers usually gravitate toward the trigger... and not always at the appropriate time.

Henry Bowman
September 30, 2005, 02:01 PM
"Now that we've talked about safe handling of firearms, there is one more thing I want to bring up. And that is what you will do if that firearm is in the hands one of your students and he or she is firing it. I'm talking about Columbine.

"The sad truth is that even an on-campus policer officer can't keep people from dying when this happens. You can hope that the officer is close and in a position to do something about it, but that's trusting the lives of our kids to luck. But what if each of you were prepared to defend the lives of your students yourself. There is at least one of you in each classroom. Compare that to one campus cop.

"It means that those of you who chose to do so would learn to use and carry a firearm. I know that's not fun, and it's even distasteful to some of you. If this horrible event came to pass in your classroom, however, you might find it worse to have to watch your students die and be able to do nothing about it.

"It also means getting the laws, both federal and state, changed so that the lawful carry of firearms on campus would be allowed by responsible adults. I mean by you, of course. If we can't trust our kid's lives to you guys, who can we trust? But the law has to be changed before you even have the option to defend our kids.

"A metal detector's beeps cannot stop someone intent upon harming our kids from coming onto the campus. But you can stop the carnage as soon as it starts.

"Please think about this. Thank you."
Standing Ovation!



One thing I've noticed with novices is that their fingers usually gravitate toward the trigger... and not always at the appropriate time. If a gun must be moved by someone unfamiliar, the 4 rules are a good place to start: watch the muzzle, and don't touch the trigger. Grasp it firmly by the stocks, the way it was intended to be gripped, not weakly by the end of the muzzle with two fingers as if it were a dead mouse. Don't try to catch a dropped firearm. Most modern guns in good repair won't discharge when dropped, but will if you fumble your fingers into the guard trying to catch it. Stress that dropping the mag does not clear the chamber, and that no mechanical safety should be trusted. These are excellent points to make, even if they shouln't even have a need to handle a found firearm at work.

Also emphasis that they don't ever "just go off." If they can't understand and accept this, they fail the course.

MikeIsaj
September 30, 2005, 02:17 PM
Thanks to all who responded. I also cannot think of a reason the weapon would need to be moved, I'm just trying to cover all bases. My first thought is isolate and secure the area, and keep the weapon under adult supervision.

The teachers I am talking to are a rather level headed bunch in a parochial school. They want to do more than stand around and be scared which is what all their professional organizations tell them to do. I commend them for asking for the knowledge and intend to do my best to help them.

Skidmark and WayneConrad: I have no idea what you are responding to. Perhaps your prejudices have effected your view of my posting. When people come to me seeking knowledge, I do not mock their ignorance, reafirming their preconcieved notions. I answer their questions and enlighten them.

Medusa
October 1, 2005, 08:46 AM
"Now that we've talked about safe handling of firearms, there is one more thing I want to bring up. And that is what you will do if that firearm is in the hands one of your students and he or she is firing it. I'm talking about Columbine.

"The sad truth is that even an on-campus policer officer can't keep people from dying when this happens. You can hope that the officer is close and in a position to do something about it, but that's trusting the lives of our kids to luck. But what if each of you were prepared to defend the lives of your students yourself. There is at least one of you in each classroom. Compare that to one campus cop.

"It means that those of you who chose to do so would learn to use and carry a firearm. I know that's not fun, and it's even distasteful to some of you. If this horrible event came to pass in your classroom, however, you might find it worse to have to watch your students die and be able to do nothing about it.

"It also means getting the laws, both federal and state, changed so that the lawful carry of firearms on campus would be allowed by responsible adults. I mean by you, of course. If we can't trust our kid's lives to you guys, who can we trust? But the law has to be changed before you even have the option to defend our kids.

"A metal detector's beeps cannot stop someone intent upon harming our kids from coming onto the campus. But you can stop the carnage as soon as it starts.

"Please think about this. Thank you."
Standing Ovation!

I'll join the line. Where can I sign up?

Don Gwinn
October 1, 2005, 09:39 AM
I teach in a public school and know how to unload and safe just about any weapon I'm likely to encounter on this continent, but I can't think of a compelling reason to do so. I'd let it sit. HOWEVER, this doesn't cover the far more likely scenario that some kid finds the gun and brings it to a teacher to have the teacher do something about it.

About two weeks ago an elementary school in nearby Springfield had a loaded handgun found on the playground. It was a cheap Omega .22. Supposedly, according to the news reports, it had "a live round in the chamber and was cocked and ready to fire." The first kid who found it ran for a teacher (the principal alluded to "an older student who had some safety training"--it sounds like Eddie Eagle to me) but then another found the gun and brought it to a teacher, who had no idea how to make it safe. She put it in a locked cabinet and waited for the cops. I don't know whether it was really cocked with the safety off, but the police spokesman claimed that if anyone had touched the trigger, it would have fired, so he apparently thought so. Given that, it's a miracle the child or teacher didn't fire it.

Chances are they have a code for their intercom which means "Keep all the kids in the rooms until further notice. If you're on your way through the halls, duck into the nearest class and stay there." At my school it's an innocuous message about a snacktime. It could mean anything from a bomb threat to an intruder to . . . . well, any situation that calls for a lockdown. If we had a gun in a hallway or some such, we'd probably just call that code and wait for police.

The gun might have zero forensic value, but it isn't where it belongs and I'm not trained to evaluate its forensic value. So unless I don't think I can secure it, I'm not going to mess with it.


So my basic advice is, learn to make a gun safe and handle it safely if you have to, because you may find the gun IN A STUDENT'S HAND. You can't very well leave it there!
But if nobody's touching the gun, there's no compelling reason for anyone to do so. I would emphasize to them that they're not the only ones in the building and the students need Eddie Eagle training to understand why the adults all say not to pick up the gun.

migoi
October 1, 2005, 12:17 PM
is good enough for some folks. Even teachers obviously wanting to be less anti-gun than the stereotype allows.

Even though no one can think of a legitimate reason for a teacher to have to handle a gun found at school the mere fact they stepped forward and asked for training is a good thing. The time can be well used to demystify and depropagandize firearms.

migoi

skidmark
October 1, 2005, 12:59 PM
Skidmark and _____ : I have no idea what you are responding to. Perhaps your prejudices have effected your view of my posting. When people come to me seeking knowledge, I do not mock their ignorance, reafirming their preconcieved notions. I answer their questions and enlighten them.

MikeIsaj wrote
I have been asked to speak to my childrens elementary school teachers about handguns in the school. They want to know the best way to physically handle a situation where a handgun would be found on school grounds.

I can only speak for myself.

You did not indicate that you are an NRA Handgun Safety Instructor, or otherwise "certified" to present handgun safety instruction.

I find it very strange that educators, who tell us that they are the "experts" on how to educate children because they have studied, researched, and validated their theories and concepts, whould approach a person with no credentials and ask for any kind of instruction or training.

If you thought I was "mocking their ignorance" I assure you I did not intend to do that. I will accept it as an unintended consequence, but do not see that as anything needing an apology, given the general "holier than thou" attitude of educators.

While life may now require teachers to "deal with" firearms in or about the school, I do not see the "handling" of such firearms as being within their purview. Handling of firearms by untrained, inexperienced persons seems to be the greatest cause of unintentional injury to third parties. All they need to do is secure the firearm in place, protect it from those who would want to handle it or otherwise poke at it, and lead the authorities to it for further disposition. If little Johnny or Jill comes carrying the firearm, to present it to the teacher, it can best be dealt with by instructing the child to put the thing down. No handing it (cocked & locked with a hair trigger that the wind can set off) from one person to another. Once down, evacuate the area in a calm & orderly fashion -- meaning either clear the playground, the hall, or the classroom where the firearm is now quitely resting. Post a monitor to keep the curious away. Call the "experts."

Now, if teachers want to learn how to safely handle firearms, they can take a class. From someone with credentials in firearm safety. Because they want to know how to safely handle firearms. But this should have nothing to do with how they respond to a firearm on school premises, except perhaps reduce the paranoia about the thing "going off by itself."

The schools where I live all have "lock-down" plans for various scenarios. All of them involve calling the police, and most police calls to the school result in ambulance and fire truck stand-bys. Even planned fire drills get an actual response from the local fire station, which triggers a police response for traffic control. And if a firearm is so dangerous that it could "go off by itself" then maybe we do need the bomb squad to come & carry it away.

Most of us know that much of the planned reaction/response in the school plans are "feel-good" rather than "do-good." But if we are going to perpetuate the evilness of firearms in and of themselves in or near a school, let's continue to play the game to the hilt. Otherwise, "Stop! Don't touch! Leave the area! Tell an Adult!" And have that adult call someone whose job it is to know how to safely handle firearms.

stay safe.

skidmark

Gordon Fink
October 1, 2005, 01:54 PM
Now, if teachers want to learn how to safely handle firearms, they can take a class.…

How many people are aware that firearms training is available to the general public? After all, the propaganda tells us that “the guns are less regulated than children’s toys.”

~G. Fink

scubie02
October 1, 2005, 02:09 PM
Its true that you find more than your fair share of liberals amongst the teaching crowd, and as a result a pervasive anti-gun bias, but you may be surprised. I would be willing to bet there are gun owners amongst the faculty. This is particularly true amongst the older crowd. When I started at my school, I knew there were a few of the male teachers who were hunters, but thought I might well be the only one who had a concealed carry license, besides my one friend there who is a part time police officer locally in addition to being a teacher. But over time I have been surprised a few times. My friend who's the pt LEO is a special ed teacher, and one day while down talking to him in his room the other female teacher that shares his room was there and as we were talking mentioned that she has a pistol permit too. I also fix computers on the side, and while at a woman's house who is a retired administrator it somehow came up that she also had a pistol permit.

I know that both I and my friend who's the LEO talk openly to students when we get the chance and encourage the shooting sports, NRA membership, etc. I post fliers all the time in the library for the local sportsman's club about upcoming shoots, hunter's safety courses, etc.

So in short, we may be the minority in the education field, but we're out there. Actually, I just wrote a note of protest to the IT guy when I found that the new blocking software blocks all the sites dealing with guns, knives, etc, and he said he'd look into seeing if he could get them unblocked. You do what you can...

WayneConrad
October 1, 2005, 02:54 PM
Skidmark and WayneConrad: I have no idea what you are responding to. Perhaps your prejudices have effected your view of my posting. When people come to me seeking knowledge, I do not mock their ignorance, reafirming their preconcieved notions. I answer their questions and enlighten them.

Mike, I was imagining what I might say to close the class. I apologize for mocking or giving the wrong impression. That's not what I meant to do, but it wouldn't be the first time I ended up writing the opposite of what I meant. Please accept my apology.

Waitone
October 1, 2005, 04:12 PM
Scenario 1--gun found on the ground
Scenario 2--kid hands gun to teacher
Necessary condition--teacher is without clue as to what to do if handed gun.

Scenario 2 is the worse of the two so plan for it to happen. What to do in scenario 1 is self-evident so just do it. . . . which is nothing to the gun. Cover it with kitty litter, or a paper bag or a trashcan. Just don't pick it up.

Train teachers and staff for scenario 2. Hold it firmly by the grip. Point it in a safe direction. Keep finger off the trigger. In other words, teach the fundamental rules of safe handling of firearms. And while you are at it, include a section biology. Firearms are not considered biological forms so they are not considered living object. The have no ability of independent action nor free will. Guns are not free moral agents and therefore should not be treated as evil, living moral agents.

MikeIsaj
October 1, 2005, 08:14 PM
WayneConrad: Thank you sir, you are a true gentleman. I have that problem too sometimes. As an ending to a presentation, I like it.

Don Gwinn: Thanks for your comments. That's the conclusion I came to also. It's good to hear it from an insider.

Skidmark: There's a lot you don't know about me, and will never know.

Chrontius
October 2, 2005, 12:05 AM
Scenario 1--gun found on the ground
Scenario 2--kid hands gun to teacher
Necessary condition--teacher is without clue as to what to do if handed gun.

Scenario 2 is the worse of the two so plan for it to happen. What to do in scenario 1 is self-evident so just do it. . . . which is nothing to the gun. Cover it with kitty litter, or a paper bag or a trashcan. Just don't pick it up.

Train teachers and staff for scenario 2. Hold it firmly by the grip. Point it in a safe direction. Keep finger off the trigger. In other words, teach the fundamental rules of safe handling of firearms. And while you are at it, include a section biology. Firearms are not considered biological forms so they are not considered living object. The have no ability of independent action nor free will. Guns are not free moral agents and therefore should not be treated as evil, living moral agents.

If a student is to hand the gun to the teacher, the teacher should request first that the student point it at the floor, remove their finger from the trigger if it's nearby, and set it on a desk.

Then the teacher should proceed to render it safe. Drop the magazine and clear the chamber, or empty the cylinder, and then call the library for the Eddie Eagle DVDs.

TxCajun
October 2, 2005, 11:55 AM
Circa 1985 I was teaching 6th grade. During class, a student handed me a note indicating that another student had a gun, which he had been showing off before school that AM. The gun was said to be in his backpack which was hanging on a hook with all the others on one wall of the room.

I sent the perpetrator to the councelor's office on an "errand" with a sealed note that just said to stall him under the pretense of waiting for a reply. I wrote a note to the principal detailing the gun story (I was not sure this was true at this point) and disbatched a second student to the pricipal. She showed up with a paraprofessional who took the class out to a restroom break. The principal and I looked in his backpack and found a Raven 25 holstered in a Cheetos bag. She was deathly afraid of it. I dropped the mag and ejected the chambered round and the principal put it back in the bag, took it to her office and called the Police.

The student was arrested and ultimately ended up in the Juvenile Detention Facility for 6 months. His story was, that on a previous afternoon walking home from school, a van pulled up next to him. A gang member pointed a shotgun at him and demanded his redwing boots. Rather than complying, he ran away. Word on the street was that they were now out to cap him for not giving up the boots. His older brother, a member of a rival gang, had given him the gun for protection. This was in a gang infested neighborhood on the west side of San Antonio.

Two years earlier, at a different school in the same neighborhood, I was playing basketball after school with some middle school kids. A visiting cousin of one of our kids went up for a layup and an RG 22 snubbie fell out of his pants leg. He grabbed it up and stuffed it back in his waist. Instead of freaking out and trying to disarm him, I grabbed my ball and told him that he could not have his gun on school property, and that if he wanted to play, he needed to do something with it. He apparently wanted to play, so he climbed the hurricane fence seperating the school from the housing projects and returned 5 minutes later. We played ball for about another 30 minutes. When I left, I stopped by a police substation and filed a report. Since he was visiting the neighborhood, I don't think they were ever able to identify him.

Twenty years of teaching in the barrio and only 2 guns? Not bad. My first year teaching, a girl was absent one day. She returned the next day and had a note from her Mom. It read, "Please excuse Mary Helen for being absent yesterday. There was a shooting at the house." :what:

TheEgg
October 3, 2005, 02:11 PM
I Need Some Help Educating Teachers

I don't know why, but when I read this, the theme song from Mission Impossible came to mind.

J/K! One time teacher here, getting silly.

Andrew Rothman
October 3, 2005, 03:38 PM
The curriculum in the NRA's Home Firearm Safety class is all about knowing how to be safe around guns. Find an NRA instructor -- she's trained and certified to teach the teachers what they need to know.

spocahp anar
October 3, 2005, 06:00 PM
I would make sure the teachers were familiar with the functioning parts of a gun. Maybe several types of models with dummy plastic rounds so that they can get a handle on how to disarm or "empty" the rounds should the gun need to be moved as suggested earlier depending on its locale.

Make sure they know the Rules of gun safety.

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