How this Texas district prioritizes SEL

The Covid-19 pandemic may be on everyone’s minds right now, but school districts grappled with another pandemic before the virus changed our world. School violence incidents such as the Parkland School shooting were increasing, and students’ physical and mental well-being were at critical levels.

New Caney Independent School District, northeast of Houston, Texas, understood that social emotional learning (SEL) and the missed opportunities to identify students with deficits played out in school–specifically in school violence.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) states that SEL programs “provide a foundation for better adjustment and academic performance as reflected in more positive social behaviors and peer relationships, fewer conduct problems, less emotional distress, and improved grades and test scores.”…Read More

How to thoughtfully implement panic buttons into your school safety plan

During an emergency situation, there is nothing more important than response time. A single minute can be the difference between help arriving on time versus too late. In fact, the average school shooting lasts 12.5 minutes, while the average police response time is 18 minutes. There is no time to waste when something goes awry, especially in a school.

Anyone who has worked in the education field can tell you that there is no such thing as a typical school day–whether it’s a burst pipe, student fight, an intruder, or an allergic reaction, no two days are ever the same and they rarely go according to plan. In these situations, teachers and staff should have a way to summon help quickly and easily, and a great tool for this is a panic button.

Related content: 5 ways our district tech enhances student safety…Read More

6 tools to support school safety efforts

As teachers and students return to school across the country, thoughts range from nervous excitement to worries about how to keep school buildings–and the people in them–secure.

Last year’s school shooting in Parkland, FL sparked a massive movement, including student lie-ins and protests, focused on gun control and the irrefutable point that students should not have to worry about injuries or death when walking in school hallways or sitting in classrooms.

As students at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School pointed out, they aren’t the site of the first school shooting, and unfortunately, they didn’t expect to be the last. In fact, shortly after the Parkland shooting, another school shooting occurred in St. Mary’s County, MD. And earlier this month, a male high school student in Oklahoma stabbed a female classmate, allegedly because she declined to go out on a date with him despite his repeated efforts.…Read More

A student account of school shooting

“Today, I was sitting in my fifth hour psychology class when it happened. At first, it sounded like someone had dropped a heavy book. Then the sound came again,” writes Brett Stewart for Strike Magazine. “It took my class a moment to realize that gunshots had been fired less than a hundred feet from where we were. Our teacher immediately locked the door, turned down the lights, and had everyone get on one wall. Pepper Spray in hand, she crouched at the door lying in wait for any possible threat. God bless her…”

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After unspeakable tragedy, a search for answers

Amid the confusion and sorrow, stories of heroism emerged. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

While church leaders and President Barack Obama prepared to comfort a grieving town Dec. 16, federal agents planned to fan out to dozens of gun stores and shooting ranges across Connecticut, chasing leads they hoped would cast light on the life of school shooter Adam Lanza.

Among the questions: Why did his mother, a well-to-do suburban divorcee, keep a cache of high-power weapons in the house? What experience did Lanza have with those guns? And, above all, what set him on a path to shoot and kill 20 children, along with the adults who tried to stop him?…Read More

Father: School shooting suspect might have contacted students online

Among items seized from the room of a man accused of wounding two students at a Colorado middle school on Feb. 23 were photos of youths who appear to be in their teens, prompting the accused’s father to speculate that his son might have had online contact with students there prior to the attack, reports the Associated Press. Jefferson County sheriff’s investigators were puzzling over why Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood, 32, might have targeted Deer Creek Middle School in Littleton, Colo. They declined to say whether Eastwood had contact with students at the school, which is just miles from Columbine High School, but they were interviewing students and parents. “It’s very well a possibility, but it remains under investigation,” said sheriff’s spokesman Mark Techmeyer. Eastwood’s father, War Eagle Eastwood, said he found digital pictures in his son’s room showing students, who he guessed were in middle school or high school.

Investigators also were reviewing Bruco Eastwood’s journals as they tried to figure out why he allegedly showed up at his old school Feb. 23 and started firing in the parking lot before he was tackled by a math teacher…

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