I have read recently in a number of newspapers that school districts across the nation are being asked to consider ALICE (alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate) Training as part of their Emergency Crisis Response plans. While most of the ALICE Training is the typical training that has been pretty much standard in schools for years, the controversy is over the “COUNTER” portion of the training that has trainers teaching young unarmed students to attack an armed gunman with pencils, books or any object around them. YES, you read that right! An unarmed, young child attacking an armed, crazed gunman in hopes of over-powering the gunman. Thank goodness many districts and law enforcement agencies have already turned down the Texas Businessman’s offer to have this training, but strangely enough, a number of districts have gone through with this training. There are so many flaws with this training and thinking, that would have many wondering what school district attorney would authorize this anyway. Major flaws like the fact that there is not one single shred of evidence that this strategy works or has ever saved a life. It also make a very poor assumption that every armed gunman that does breech security and enters a classroom will go Columbine and begin killing students. School Safety Experts know that’s simply not the case. Many armed gunman have entered classrooms but exited without shooting anyone. Had a student thrown something at the gunman, would that have been enough to push the gunman into a shooting frenzy? Also, since most school shooters are other students, aren’t also teaching potential gunman the class protocol? Again, the arguments NOT to move forward with ALICE far outweigh the reasons for implementation.
By now we have all heard of the tragedy at Chardon High School where a student went into the school cafeteria and began firing a handgun at his fellow students? What causes a student to kill fellow students? This question has been asked of school shooters since before Columbine. Could this shooting be a result of the shooter being bullied? As the investigation continues I am sure we will know for sure but preliminary statements from students at the school believe the shooting was in response to being bullied.
Statements made by some students who witnessed the shooting said it was unclear whether the gunman had specific targets in mind when he began shooting but others told the AP that he believed the gunman was looking for certain students. He said he saw one student dive under a cafeteria table to unsuccessfully hide. The shooter has been described as an outcast who had apparently been bullied by others. Officials would not discuss the motive.
Is bullying being taken seriously by school officials? Is enough being done to prepare our schools, faculty, and students to effectively deal with the issues of bullying? A recent national survey by the School Safety Advocacy Council of almost 1000 school officials and law enforcement officials might surprise you. To view the survey visit www.schoolsafety911.org or click on this link http://www.schoolsafety911.org/PDF/2012SSACBullyingSurvey.pdf. For more information on bullying or training please contact Sean Burke, President SSAC at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The School Safety Advocacy Council (SSAC) recently announced it will take a smaller version of its popular National Conference on Bullying to cities across the nation. The first stops on the REGIONAL BULLYING SYMPOSIUM TOUR were recently announced at a press conference last week. The Regional Bullying Symposiums will provide a comprehensive 2-day training opportunity in the cities of Cincinnati, Ohio, Boston, Ma and Dallas, Texas through the months of March and April, 2012. “We are looking at two (2) additional sites in California and the Pacific Northwest as well”, stated Curtis Lavarello, Executive Director of the Advocacy Council.
“This training is a must for School Counselors, School Administrators and School Based Law Enforcement Officers”, continued Lavarello. The School Safety Advocacy Council Training has become recognized as the nation’s leader in school safety and bullying related training for school faculty and SROs.
For additional information on registering for the Regional Bullying Symposium or the National School Safety Conference (July 23-27, 2012 at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort in Orlando, FL), go to www.schoolsafety911.org
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — WFTV Channel 9
A middle school student is suing the Volusia County School District. Dondre Jones, 13, says he was bullied at three different Volusia County schools for more than two years, and that the school district didn’t do enough to protect him.
On Monday, Jones’ attorneys announced the filing of a lawsuit accusing the school district of negligence.
His attorneys said the first time Jones was bullied, it happened at Holly Hill Middle School in 2010. They said students attacked him, pulled his pants down and took pictures of him threatening to post them online.
“I was yelling, ‘Please stop’ and ‘Leave me alone’ as loud as I could,” Jones said.
The two students were suspended and charged with battery for attacking Jones.
The lawsuit names a teacher, who resigned after shrugging the incident off as boys just playing around.
Jones moved to Campbell Middle School, where he was bullied again, by a child who attacked another student earlier in the same day. Jones’ attorneys and his mother said the school district should have done more to protect him after the first incident, that nothing was done to make sure Jones would be safe.
At a Monday morning press conference Jones himself had something to say to his bullies.
“I want the boys to know that did this to me, although you hurt me and humiliated me; I am still standing,” Jones said.
Since the bullying incidents Jones has been homeschooled. His mother says he has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, he takes medication, and receives therapy.
His attorneys said they’re not sure of damages, but his medical costs exceed $50,000 dollars.
The school district is closed for the holidays, but Nancy Wait of the school board said the district cannot comment on the pending lawsuit.
It is time that school districts take preventative actions to educate its faculty and students on the repercussions of bullying and hazing. This incident is a severe case that has thrown a whole town into turmoil and potentially ruined careers and educational futures. As I have stated numerous times prior to this posting, school districts must do more to protect students from bullying and their faculty from potential legal and civil liabilities. The answer is simple-TRAIN YOUR STAFF AND STUDENTS. This is just another case of districts putting their checkbooks before the well being of the students and faculty.
The Bristol County District Attorney’s office has convened a grand jury to investigate the alleged hazing of Andover High School basketball players who attended a summer camp at Stonehill College in Easton, sources confirmed.
School employees, including David Fazio, Andover High basketball coach and a physical education teacher, have been issued subpoenas to testify so far, the sources said yesterday.
Fazio was placed on paid administrative leave Friday while police investigate allegations that two students were forced by upperclassmen to play a humiliating sex game while attending the summer camp in July.
Meanwhile, an Andover High basketball player accused of leading the hazing of the two younger students was suspended for 10 days and his lawyer now expects school officials to expel him.
Attorney Arthur Broadhurst said the student was suspended from both academics and the basketball team for 10 days, a decision he will not fight.
The district intends to expel Broadhurst’s client and a fellow ringleader, as well as suspend five other Andover High students who attended Hoop Mountain basketball camp in July.
At Hoop Mountain, held on the Stonehill College campus, two underclassmen were allegedly pressured into playing a sex game, “wet biscuit,” where the loser had to eat a semen-covered cookie.
Broadhurst would not say if his client will fight the expulsion, citing ongoing criminal investigations by the Easton Police Department and Bristol County District Attorney’s office.
Attorneys for other students involved could not be reached for comment yesterday.
On Friday, during disciplinary hearings at Andover High, students pleaded their cases with school officials for their roles in the hazing scandal. School officials would not disclose the outcome of the hearings for the seven students involved. Attempts to reach Superintendent Marinel McGrath for comment were unsuccessful yesterday.
Broadhurt’s client is also the administrator of a secret Facebook page called “Andover Basketball,” where he and others complained about the police investigation, planned a meeting and vowed to “fix” the situation.
The Eagle-Tribune anonymously received a screenshot of the secret Facebook page last week, which Easton police then asked for.
At Andover High, students facing expulsion or suspension are entitled to hearings where they can question witnesses and present evidence in their defense, according to the schools’ disciplinary policy. The can also appeal the disciplinary action of the superintendent.
If any of the students are criminally charged with hazing, they could face up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine. Anyone who witnesses hazing but does not report it faces a $1,000 fine if convicted under state law.
As a result of the hazing, Stonehill College terminated its agreement with Hoop Mountain, which will no longer be allowed on campus.
Fazio still holds the title of head coach of the basketball team, Chris Bergeron, Andover High athletic director, said Monday night.