Oregon Supt. Offers Lessons We Can Draw from Connecticut Tragedy

Our Hearts Are Broken

Guest post by Sheldon Berman, the Superintendent of the Eugene 4J Public Schools

All of us feel the pain of the parents, families, neighbors and friends of the children and educators who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Such senselessness is unfathomable. There are no words to describe the terror imposed not only on that community but also on the nation as a whole as we strive to safeguard our children.

Emerging from this horrible tragedy are stories that reveal so much about the teaching profession. Dawn Hochsprung, the principal at Sandy Hook, had won a global education grant to help her students better understand the world and appreciate differences. She and her teachers were implementing the Responsive Classroom program, a social development program that fosters classroom communities where respect, care and tolerance are the norm. She had just entered a doctoral program and written a paper on the courage to teach. Her awareness of the kind of school culture that supports students’ growth, her respect for the power of teaching, and her care for children were reflected in the actions of her teachers during this tragedy. Selflessly she sacrificed her own life attempting to stop the shooter.

Read blog here.

Source: AASA Connect

  • Although no amount of pro or anti gun amregunt would likely have made any difference to the Amish shooting (they have an agrarian view of firearms, not tactical/combative), it always strikes me as odd that the reflexive response to Columbine-like shootings is always to focus on the *tool* used to inflict the damage.Rather than taking futile steps to further render the population naked in the face of criminal predation, how about asking how we *all* can help defuse the environment within which such terrible events occur?How about simply being nicer to each other? How much taunting, emotional bullying, ridicule, humiliation does it take for a human to 'snap' and vent themselves in bloody carnage? How about *not* engaging in such torment? How about parents stepping up and doing a better job raising civilized kids that don't act in ways that can incite violence?We do not live in a consequence-free world, and as horrific as these murders are, we must not wallow in our grieving victimhood...we can all be better people and contribute to a more peaceful society.Yet be responsibly armed in preparation for the inevitable failures, despite our best efforts...

  • Here is what we should all do...Have a sensible approach to school security http://chameleonassociates.com/blog/2012/12/countermeasures-against-school-shootings/

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