So a student says "I'm gonna go VT, and I know who I'm gonna shoot first."


the naked prophet
April 26, 2007, 12:18 PM
A member of my extended family, living in a far off land, is a teacher at an urban high school. One of his students recently said the quote in the thread title: "I'm gonna go VT, and I know who I'm gonna shoot first."

Naturally, this relative sent the young man to the principals office, where they promptly refused to discipline him at all, and sent him back to class. The school police officer can't act without permission of the administration, and it's against the rules to go to the city cops except through the school cop.

What would you do?

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Ex-MA Hole
April 26, 2007, 12:23 PM
Call the newspapers.

April 26, 2007, 12:25 PM
In so many schools we see over-reaction to little things. However, in this case, I'd have to guage whether it was said in obvious jest (which the student should get a talking to about tact), or if otherwise, then it should be looked into thoroughly. i'm not a panic-monger, but copy-cat crimes are a reality, and are popular in todays youth.

Black Majik
April 26, 2007, 12:32 PM
I figure it's common sense, but there are just some things you dont say.

...even in jest...

April 26, 2007, 12:32 PM
have the teacher go to the principal and explain he feels threatend and can no longer perform his job or fairly grade unless the kid is moved to a differant class.

inform all the other teachers/unions etc. if the administration wont act in the interest of teachers safety. thats pretty good grounds to threaten union action

April 26, 2007, 12:41 PM
What would you do?I would ask the principal what else they did. Did they talk to the kid? Did he realize what he said? Was he remorseful, and did he know what was wrong with what he said, with out anyone having to tell him first? Does he have an appointment to see a counselor? Is this part of long standing behavior? There is a whole range of possibilities here, and a range of proper responses, depending on what the complete situation is. What would I do? Satisfy my self the school has correctly determined what the situation is, and that sending back to class without discipline is the appropriate response. It is not necessary I know everything about the kid, just that I know the proper people at the school know, and are acting correctly. If not, well, there are a range of possibilities: tell the school what they are doing wrong, tell the teacher’s union, tell the newspapers, look for another job, etc.

And another thing; I would get a written record that I sent the kid to the principal's office, and I reported what he said. If things go bad (and I'm not saying they will) negligent people need to be held responsible, and not be able to say they weren’t told.

April 26, 2007, 12:59 PM
I would promptly and directly contact the student's parents myself.

April 26, 2007, 01:13 PM
depending on the kid's age, I would contact the parents myself, or give the kid a stern talking to. If he's young and doesnt know his nostril from a hole in the groud, I'd talk to him. If he's a punk kid highschooler I'd call his parents and show him some photos of the aftermath, asking him if he thinks those people deserved what they got, and if he would feel the same way if one of the corpses was his brother or mother?
If he gives a smart answer I'd go through whatever the formal routes are for getting the kid mental help.

April 26, 2007, 01:44 PM
It was obviously said in boorish jest. The student should be made aware, in a public way, (since his statement was public) of his "un-funny" and lame attempt at trying to sound cool in front of the rest of the students. Perhaps he should be made aware that anyone who needs to say sometging like that to get attention probably won't get into VT anyhow.

April 26, 2007, 01:50 PM
File a complaint with the local Police Department, Union, and let the parents know. This way, there's at least a record of the kid making these stupid statements.

April 26, 2007, 02:27 PM
Who's he gonna shoot first?

If it's the guys who pushed for the regressive campus-wide gun-free zone, keeping model citizens from defending themselves... Would be some justice in it...

Now back to the high road - has anyone, including the teacher, actually sat down and talked with him?

Big Calhoun
April 26, 2007, 03:27 PM
I'd ask for an 'incident report' which includes the final disposition of the matter (no punishment), in writing.

April 26, 2007, 03:47 PM
Schools these days are so fouled up this kid gets sent back to class and my son takes a hack saw to school to use in cutting something for a class project and vice-principal takes it away cause its a weapon then they returned it after school and he took it to a school track meet he was competeing in. Same kids present even the vice-principal was in attendance Go figure

April 26, 2007, 03:49 PM
Maybe not said in jest. Need to get something done about this, it may stop something from happening. If said in jest it is in bad taste and steps should be taken to stop it.

April 26, 2007, 04:33 PM
What would you do?

Start carrying (if he doesn't already)

April 26, 2007, 04:37 PM
Suspend the kid.

April 26, 2007, 04:39 PM
I quit when the administration put a student back in my classroom after threatening to bring a gun to school and "kill everybody." I left teaching and found other means of employment. Sorry to say, my security is not worth not causing a stir at a school. This is your life, who's responsible for it?

April 26, 2007, 04:50 PM
Quit! Never, I'd slap the punk and challenge him to meet you in a duel.I got $100 says he wouldn't show!I've had my life threatened many times, comes with the territory when you are a bouncer in a biker bar.Best job I ever had!

Joe Gunns
April 26, 2007, 06:56 PM
Based on my 31 years in city schools: Unless this was the "last straw" in an ongoing pattern of disruptive behavior in his classroom for which he has exhausted his 'bag of tricks," he should have disciplined the kid himself and relayed the details of the incident to parents and principal, leaving it up to them to follow up or not. That way the incident is documented and if the principal wanted to make a bigger issue of it, he could. If he didn't, then it wouldn't have made the teacher appear weak or ineffective.

One of my pet peeves was seeing colleagues abdicate their own personal authority by sending a kid to the office for discipline. The more ya do so, the more ya hafta do so. In plain language: don't show your weakness, kids will take increasing advantage. When I was dept head I worked with my staff on developing the attitude of "owning" their turf (classroom and hallway outside it), by projecting confidence and implementing an escalating series of logical consequences based on severity of infraction and previous interventions. Which is not to say that purposeful over-reaction is not appropriate, but office referral, particularly in this time of the "conciliator" principal/vp is often the least effective step you can take. It should be the last resort in a well-documented chain of actions that sets the stage for possible suspension or transfer as is appropriate for the individual.

A good stern/angry chewing can often do more good than darn near anything else. I once worked with a vp ('83-'86) that had one of the lowest suspension rates in the city. Like Andy Jackson, he could turn on his temper on cue. Kids were absolutely afraid of being referred to the office because he would tear 'em a new one. However, most administrative teams I worked with since 1971 made such a friendly office environment that kids would ask to be sent there rather than deal with classroom discipline. (I also have worked on new veeps to get them to accept the fact that when kids come to the office from me or my department, they have already been through the 'easy" steps and should not start at the "bottom of the ladder" with low level consequences. The result was that when we referred kids, something meaningful happened, and they were never bounced right back to class.


April 26, 2007, 07:19 PM
One thing I still haven't figured out...

1) Was the kid being serious?

2) Was the kid being sarcastic?

3) Did ANYONE talk to the kid?

Or is anyone just kneejerking into zero-tolerance land?

April 26, 2007, 08:00 PM
What would you do?

Assuming he was serious and the statement wasn't taken out of context: send him (unarmed) into a locked room with the male family members of the victims from VT, and make him repeat the statement.


April 26, 2007, 09:14 PM
Students say the dumbest things sometime. And just when you think you've heard the most idiotic statement, they surprise you. They just don't think before they speak. It's a cognitive development thing. Their brains just don't work like adults brains do.

That being said, if i felt the student was just being stupid I would take him out in the hall, and rip the kid up one side and down the other. you do it in the hall loud enough that kids in all the other classrooms can hear you. That way, the point gets across. Then, you send the kid to the principals office. Then call the kids parents and explain. There is about a 30% chance they'll give a crap what their little punk child said.

We had a student threaten to "roll a bomb in the cafeteria and kill everyone". And the above is what happened. His parents were on the other 70%. Which I think is probably correlated to his statement..... :scrutiny:

Mr White
April 26, 2007, 09:18 PM
If he was in an old school Italian neighborhood, they'd just order a hit on the little punk and dump the body in Jersey. Problem solved. :evil:

Lord I apologize to all the Italian Americans and all the starving pygmies...

April 26, 2007, 09:30 PM
Can one get fries with an order like that?:evil:

A good butt chewing always did me a lot of good. Now look at me! Nobody knows who I am because I didn't kill anybody.

April 26, 2007, 09:45 PM
A very serious discussion along with a belt wiping is needed in this situation. No excuses for this kind of talk or kidding !!!

Mr White
April 26, 2007, 09:46 PM
A good butt chewing always did me a lot of good. Now look at me! Nobody knows who I am because I didn't kill anybody.
Yeah, but we all know about where you live because some drunk drove a boat into a rock! :D It just goes to prove that you most likely won't become famous (or infamous) unless you do something really stupid.

April 26, 2007, 10:49 PM
Like someone esle asked, Who was he going to shoot?

Kids say and do stupid things. comes with the lack of experience. When I was in high school it would have warranted a trip to the VP's office, a few demerits, a day staying after school and definitely a call to my parents.

Heck i got demerits for grabbing my tit and saying "broke your neck" to a buddy who worked in the school office. But then those days were different times, and no one wanted to get demerits. now days the VP would probably get written up for issuing them.

April 26, 2007, 11:09 PM
I still wanna know who he wants to shoot first.

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