Teachers have so much more to think about nowadays than just teaching math, reading and science. The safety of their students, and themselves, is foremost on everyone’s minds. One year ago, there was a heartbreaking and shocking shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that put a spotlight on the need for active shooter training, early intervention for troubled students, more awareness of warning signs, etc.
Following the tragedy, Florida passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act which provides for many positive and long-needed improvements for our public schools. It includes, but is not limited to, an armed guard at every school, a mental health specialist at every school, better training for staff and more collaboration of services.
As a school-based program, we spend a lot of time in schools, and safety is on our minds as well. We appreciate the steps taken, and marvel at the mature and methodical way the students are handling the issue. Recently, two of our coaches were in a room with a 15-year-old student when a code red was announced. He systematically shut the door, found something to wedge under it so it couldn’t easily be opened and ushered them to a corner of the room. The next day, one of the coaches went to give see him a little gift to thank him for being so calm and protective. His face beamed with pride when she told him how proud she was of how he acted. He thanked her and proceeded to tell her that next time, they really have to be quieter, that they had been a little loud. We think we have everything to teach, but sometimes we are able to learn from our kids!