California Educator

May 2014

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pu t standard here and move CTA O NLINE to page 9 D E P T S . kid photo Y O U R O P I N I O N S A N D L E T T E R S A R E W E L C O M E ! There is a 250-word limit, and all letters will be edited. If you send photos or other materials, identifications and permissions are required. Letters must include your name along with your address, daytime telephone number or email address. Email Raise your hand for learning over testing I hope our profession can make great chang- es when we are united behind great leaders who are teachers like us. Thank you, CTA, for your invitation to get involved in the Raise Your Hand campaign. As one teacher who is still learning how to use social networks in a constructive way, I was inspired to take a photo (with the help of my tech-savvy son) and post it and ask friends to do the same. Please continue to invite us to do something like this that allows everyone to see how CTA is representing us and how we can participate throughout the transition to Common Core and as we move through using and giving feedback about assessments and actual curriculum frameworks. MONIQUE CLIFFORD San Diego Education Association Last-resort offensive option As one who has gone through the training and rigorous background check to become a hold- er of a concealed weapons permit, I hope that we, as a society, can drop the hyperbole and sensationalism that has become a hallmark of any discussion about guns and self-defense, and begin a real discussion about what can and should be done to protect our children in any circumstance. We, as teachers individually and as schools and districts corporately, are charged with the enormous responsibility of keeping our pre- cious children safe. What are we going to do to be vigilant and proactive to guard them and keep them out of harm's way? What are we prepared to do in the face of violence visited upon our campuses? I want the "last-resort offensive option" of actively defending my students and myself available, otherwise it is not a last resort. In the unlikely event of a shooter on campus, I would much rather have the advantage of "fighting fire with fire" than "taking a stapler to a gunfight"! RICH WARREN Victor Elementary Teachers Association NRA propaganda? "Run? Hide? Fight?" in the March issue was an astonishing article that reads like undi- luted NRA propaganda. You never once give serious consideration to the grave U.S. so- cial deficit that has made school shootings from Columbine to Sandy Hook possible: the nationwide absence of rational and enforceable gun-control laws. Was this simply an oversight? Or was the article actually planned in collaboration with the NRA and representatives from the country's armaments industries? No amount of SWAT team-style counter- insurgency tactics or arming of selected teachers will do anything but increase gun violence deaths in American schools. The car- nage will not abate until the nation decides to make it much more difficult than it is at pres- ent to purchase an assault rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammunition and then walk into the public school of your choice and open fire. LEIGH CLARK United Teachers Los Angeles Editor's note: The article states that edu- cators should know the options available to defend their students if necessary. It does not call for educators to be armed. CTA is opposed to arming educators. Honor speech-language pathologists Kudos on the beautiful article featuring Ce- leste Roseberry-McKibbin and her work with literacy (March). Celeste is a cherished and valued member of my profession: speech-lan- guage pathology. I encourage CTA members to explore the world of school-based speech-language pathologists. We are a hardworking, dedicat- ed and knowledgeable group of individuals whose work is often overlooked. In addition to our CTA dues, we pay to maintain state licenses, professional certification, and our professional organization. May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. I urge you to celebrate the innovative and loving work of a school-based speech-language pathologist! LISA CHATTLER Los Alamitos Education Association feedback What do you mean by Common Core resources? Once again, while reading "What do you think of Common Core?" (Dean Vogel's column in March), I hear the word resources. How many zillions of times have we heard teachers need resources, but what does that mean? If resources are textbooks, workbooks and com- puters, please walk around schools at the end of the year and look inside the dumpsters and closets. You'll see endless "resources" from the beginning of time, including unwrapped packages of cassette tapes, videos and sets of books sitting unused and or in the dump. In a rush to provide Common Core resourc- es, it seems businesses are trying to reinvent the wheel for a profit. Hundreds of stale work- books in boxes are in language arts classes at our school. They're filled with "graphic organizers." No one uses these workbooks. They will be thrown away. Now the district wants us to hang thick, laminated, meaningless posters void of any artistic sense and filled with words no one will read. They're to go next to the posters we got in the fall explaining Common Core in a mass of small text and fonts which can't be read. I have no interest in spending money on these types of "resources." SUSAN ANGST United Teachers of Richmond FEATURE P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y S C O T T B U S C H M A N N A W O R S T- C A S E S C E N A R I O , teachers usually lock their classrooms, hide with students and wait for police. It doesn't always work. It didn't work in Columbine 15 years ago or in Sandy Hook Elementary one year ago. Some educators are learning how to be proactive to increase the odds that students and staff will survive a shooting. They are learning skills they hope they will never have to use, such as how to build barricades, evacu- ate students during a rampage, and even distract or disarm a shooter with the help of students as a last resort. Such training is taking place in rural Modoc County, where a year ago a teen threatened to shoot "a classroom of kids" along with faculty members at the local high school. He was apprehended by police, who caught him holding a knife on his parents and attempting to load B Y S H E R R Y P O S N I C K - G O O D W I N New safety strategies for worst-case scenarios What would you do if a shooter was on campus? Would you lock your door, huddle in a corner with students, try to keep them calm, and wait to be rescued? Would you try to evacuate students? Would you fight back? E ducators are learning to be proactive to increase the odds of sur viv al. Here, teachers barricade a classroom door to deter a shooter during an ALICE (Aler t, Lockdown, Inform, Coun ter and Ev acuate) training. a rifle. Now, in an empty schoolhouse in the town of Likely, CTA mem- bers, administrators and law enforcement agents practice survival skills. "You may have adrenaline rushing and get caught up in the moment. If you get scared, yell 'safety, safety, safety.' If someone screams those three words, you must stop what you are doing immediately." After hearing these instructions, groups of teachers and other train- ing participants don safety masks and walk into empty classrooms. One member of each group has a two-way radio; soon a voice resonates over the airwaves that the scenario is about to begin. The participants in Group 3 become quiet and dim the lights. They huddle in a corner quietly. Outside, a male screams, "Open up. I know you're in there." The door bursts open and he begins shooting. After firing numerous shots, he departs and visits the next classroom. "Hello, hello, I know you're in there," he yells tauntingly, and begins shooting all over again. 24 25 M A R C H 2 0 1 4 M A R C H 2 0 1 4 3 M AY 2 0 1 4 Educator 05 May 2014 v1.6 int.indd 3 5/16/14 3:21 PM

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