“Recent neurobiological, epigenetics, and psychological studies have shown that traumatic experiences in childhood can diminish concentration, memory, and the organizational and language abilities children need to succeed in school. For some children, this can lead to problems with academic performance, inappropriate behavior in the classroom, and difficulty forming relationships. Learning about the impacts of trauma can help keep educators from misunderstanding the reasons underlying some children’s difficulties with learning, behavior and relationships. “https://traumasensitiveschools.org/trauma-and-learning/the-problem-impact/
For the children who have gone through a school shooting, that school turns into a battleground; a trauma trigger sparking fear and dread. The school building houses the danger the child has experienced. A school should be a creative, inspiring place to learn, but a shooting/threat can change all that.
As adults, we are aware of the coping mechanisms we manifest to survive. But for a child, this world is filled with threats. It’s confusing and terrifying.
Coping skills are acquired throughout our lives, but as parents, and teachers we can help our children/students by teaching these very important skills:
“Many of the effects of traumatic experiences on classroom behavior originate from the same problems that create academic difficulties: the inability to process social cues and to convey feelings in an appropriate manner. This behavior can be highly confusing, and children suffering from the behavioral impacts of trauma are often profoundly misunderstood. Whether a child who has experienced traumatic events externalizes (acts out) or internalizes (withdraws, is numb, frozen, or depressed), a child’s behavioral response to traumatic events can lead to lost learning time and strained relationships with teachers and peers.”
A school shooting, school lockdown and other traumatic events, will have lasting effects on a child. Some will become preoccupied with their physical appearance; putting too much self-worth on their looks. Eating disorders and psychological damaging behaviors can manifest out of trauma. Students who have experienced trauma can become unsure of adults, fellow students and become very distrustful of the security of the school, in general. We cannot blame them for that. We must encourage conversations with their peers, with their teachers and other supportive groups that they trust. If these fears go unaddressed, this emotional trauma will continue to develop and could create unhealthy relationships for the rest of their lives.
School shooting coverage on TV and how they are blatantly discussed on social media, is absolutely intense. It seems inescapable at times. We’ll hear about the shooting throughout the day, several days, whenever we look at a screen, turn on the radio or look at our phone. The constant inundation of this ‘news’ is intensifying the trauma, making us feel less safe by the minute. The anxiety grows and grows.
Psychologists describe anxiety as the body’s internal alarm system. But when this ‘alarm system’ is triggered too easily and too frequently, your body will start to alert you when there isn’t any actual danger at all.
The “long trail of trauma” sadly doesn’t just affect survivors of school shootings. It is affecting an entire generation of children who are growing up in the shadow of mass school shootings and lockdown drills — in ways that we cannot yet know or measure. It is also creating a generation of anxious and fearful parents.
I’m the mother of a 9-year-old girl. A few months ago I was driving my daughter to school when we saw a police car racing ahead of us and turning into the street on which her school is located.
“Mommy, is someone shooting people at my school?” she asked. My heart in my throat, I responded, “No, sweetie, someone is probably just being pulled over for speeding,” but inside, I was thinking the same thing.
While we impatiently wait for gun reform, the founders of Secur Shade have created a product to make a life-saving decision happen in 3 seconds. Our system simultaneously sends a message indicating a lockdown event with its location within the school to previously selected authorities – principal, security officer, police, DHS, etc.
We must do everything we can to prepare the students, teachers and families – with tools to process their anxieties, fears and traumas. The more we talk about this subject openly, the more we can begin the collective process of healing.
Healing from trauma takes mental health professionals, support of family and friends, and architecture? Sandy Hook did just that.
Sandy Hook school design was like many other schools across the country built in that time period; lots of brick, rectangular glass, cold steel. Very austere.
What was created in those months, was nothing more than magic. By erasing the horrific past, a phoenix rose from the proverbial ashes in design, light and color!
“Newtown decided it was best to demolish the Sandy Hook school and erect a new building on the same property. The town organized a search to find an architect to design it on a tight 20-month schedule, using $50 million given to the town by the state of Connecticut.” – Courtesy of Architect Magazine
After interviewing numerous architectural firms, the community decided on Svigals + Partners’. The importance of community, textures, shapes, nature, color, functionality, but most importantly the design is to lift the hearts and minds. The uplifting of spirit started from the get-go.
“I’m thinking all these architects are going to come in with stuffy suits and tell us how it’s going to be done,” remembers Anzellotti, who’s been a custodian with the school system in Newtown for 15 years. “At the very first meeting we sat there and they went to each person individually, in front of everybody, and said, ‘What did this school represent to you? What does this town represent to you?’ I thought that was pretty cool. Everybody shouted out ideas. They didn’t knock anything down, they just listened to everybody.” –Courtesy of Architect Magazine
Svigals insists, “We can’t remember who made any of the decisions. It was so collectivized. For instance, Sandy Hook, which is a small village within the larger municipality of Newtown, is knit together by a series of footbridges across the Pootatuck River. The river and the bridges were one of the things many of the townspeople said they loved.”
Taking inspiration from the surrounding nature, the footbridge motif was created for the school. To enter the school you’ll have to cross 1 of 3 footbridges, a design that also ensures that everyone is forced to approach the building along 1 of 3 well-watched pathways. Simple calculations to the building’s overall design to address security concerns. The approach to security, according to McFadden, was driven by a concept called Criminal Prevention Through Environmental Design, which stresses openness and clear sightlines over ‘bunker-building’.
The final interior design is nothing short of awe-inspiring!
In the last 11 decades, scientific studies have proven that human-environment-reaction in the architectural environment is, to a large percentage, based on the sensory perception of color. In short, it confirms that human response to color is total – it influences us psychologically and physiologically. One of the most amazing results concerning color, is its consistency cross-culturally and around the globe. From women to men, adults to children, and even monkeys to humans, show that color is an international language understood by all.
The end result back at Sandy Hook Elementary is a fascinating study in what happens when an architecture firm invests its ego not in the formal attributes of its buildings, but in the quality of its community collaboration with all the people, young and old, who will use them.
Or as Anzellotti puts it, “It’s almost like we worked for them. That’s how they made us feel. It was really comfortable.”
1 year ago today, a gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and killed 17 students and staff members, and injured 17 more.
Please take a moment to hold the victims and survivors in your heart and honor them.
Its your job, our job, to make sure they didn’t die in vain.
Congress still hasn’t passed strong legislation to address gun violence. But we must keep fighting – along with the MSD survivors and students across the country who are working to #EndGunViolence.
Together, we will make change.
“Those at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School knew their lives would be transformed by the massacre. Many had no idea of the many ways that would happen.” –New York Times
PTSD, depression, activism(founding of “March for our Lives”), mental illness, trauma, life-changes, love, art, fear; all remnants of the Parkland shooting.
“We have seen fail rates of 60 % to 81 % during simulations that require individual staff members to make & communicate the lockdown decision “CampusSafetyMagazine.com
With a press of one button, our Secur Shade system simultaneously sends a message indicating a lock down event with its location within the school to previously selected authorities – principal, security officer, police, DHS, etc.
“As a campus safety professional, it’s our responsibility to make sure our students and staff are safe and sometimes it can seem like spending money on the most high-tech solutions is the best way to go.”
Under everyday use, Secur Shades are raised and lowered manually by a continuous loop, and function as an energy-efficient window shade. They allow natural light in, while keeping outside heat out in Summer, and retain interior heat in Winter. Our system can be programmed to automatically activate every night or weekend. This programming also emphatically identifies any malfunctioning shades and provides greater utilization of the shades’ benefits (privacy, security, heat control etc.).
For more information, please contact our president, Gordon Clements
To learn more about our life-saving technology:
Email : Securshade@gmail.com
Jacob believes age is just a number.
This 17 yr old Senior is planning to run for Mesa’s District 3 City Council seat. This isn’t his first go at running for office. At the very young age of 9, Martinez circulated a petition in his elementary school to provide better lunch options. He has already served on the student council since elementary school, elected as student body president at every school he has attended. And to boot, was chairman of the Arizona Teenage Republicans. Impresssive, right?
Jacob Martinez also helped register more than 200 voting-age students HIMSELF. And that’s not all, last year, as a junior, he became involved in the March For Our Lives, a wonderful student activism group for stricter gun laws in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. That one shooting left 17 students and staff dead. March for Our Lives held protests at the state Capitol last Spring, hosted a town hall for gubernatorial candidates in August and so many more events.
“It’s my generation that’s going to be impacted by the decisions that are being made now. We’re the ones that are going to have to face the repercussions and it’s better that we get in there now rather than later.” -Jacob M.
On February 14, 2018, while a Senior at Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, David Hogg was on campus when a 19 yr old former student at the high school started shooting with a semi-automatic rifle after pulling the fire alarm. David was in his AP environmental science class. He heard the ‘pop’ repeating in the hall, that ‘sounded like gunshots.’ David and other students tried to exit the building, but a janitor instructed the students to go back into the classroom. David credits the janitor for saving their lives. The group of students were unaware that were about to head right towards the shooter. A culinary arts teacher pulled him, as well as other students into a closet. That would change anyone’s life.
David took to social media and used his cell phone to record the scene and to interview the other students hiding in the closet, to leave a record in the event that they did not survive the shooting. That’s powerful.
David’s life changed. As so many other’s did that day. Hogg emerged as a leader in the 2018 United States gun violence protests. Along with Alfonso Calderon, Sarah Chadwick, Emma González, Cameron Kasky and other students, he turned to the media to talk as survivors of the shooting and started using his voice on gun control and gun violence issues. He has called on elected officials to pass gun control measures and has been a vocal critic of officials who take donations from the NRA, and he has been urging them to compromise on legislation to save lives.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for Hogg, he has helped lead several high-profile protests, marches, and boycotts. With his sister, (who also survived the Parkland shooting), he wrote a book titled #NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line that made the New York Times bestseller list. And if that wasn’t enough, they have pledged to donate all income from the book to charity.
“What if we taxed guns, made a gun registration process for them and had licensing for owners just like cars? We could use that money to help harden soft targets like schools and many other places with bulletproof windows and doors.” — David Hogg via Twitter
“I don’t remember exactly when I found out Carmen Schentrup was dead. Carmen and I became friends in middle school. We had science together. …We rode the bus together every day after school… At her birthday parties everyone would eat pizza and watch a movie in the Schentrups’ living room, and then after the movie we would all just talk — about school, politics, life. I still have one of her party invitations taped up on my mirror. I found out she was dead on Feb. 15. I think it was the 15th — that’s when The Miami Herald released the names of those who had been killed the day before in the shooting at my high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, in Parkland, Fla. I’d thought she’d only been injured. I remember thinking that very clearly; she has only been injured, don’t worry about her. “ shared Emma with The New York Times
Surviving a horrific event such as this and at the same time, discovering best friends, close acquaintances, teachers, staff and lost friends died, how would that effect YOU?
It changed Emma.
3 days after the shooting, on February 17, 2018, González gave an 11-minute speech in front of the Broward County Courthouse at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In the speech she pledged to pressure lawmakers to change the law. “We are going to be the last mass shooting,” Emma proclaimed. “That’s going to be Marjory Stoneman Douglas in that textbook, and it’s all going to be due to the tireless efforts of the school board, the faculty members, the family members and most importantly the students.” The most quoted part of her speech was “We call B.S.” Emma is also a part of March for our Lives advocate group. Also has had many articles published by The New York Times and Harpers Bazaar.
“The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us … And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and are prepared to call B.S.” – Emma González
“It has been months since the shooting. But whenever one of my friends finds an old picture of someone who died that day, or another shooting happens, or I hear helicopters or one too many loud bangs in one day, it all starts to slip. It feels like I’m back at the vigil, in the hot Florida sun, with volunteers handing out water bottles to replenish what the sun and sadness had taken away. Looking for friends and finding them, hugging them, saying, “I love you.” Looking for friends and not finding them.” –Emma G. via The New York Times
These are just three amazing individuals that have suffered tragedy and are trying to make a difference in the world they live in. True phoenixes from ashes of horrific events. There are SO MANY more amazing young people stepping up and showing us how to change the world for the better. Inspiring, indeed.
458 page report just released. Bottom line?
Teachers should be armed. Not less guns, more guns. Yeah, say that out loud. This is not the solution, but let’s hear more.
Is that the solution?
“So what are we saying to people—we’re not going to allow you to defend yourself, we’re not going to allow you to defend the kids—why? Because of some ideology that we don’t like guns? Anyone who thinks they’re going to get rid of guns is crazy,” Gualtieri said. “It isn’t going to happen. We’ve got to do something differently and people should be able to protect themselves.” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, chairman of the commission.
When the report was released, students, teachers and parents passionately disagreed. Currently, Florida schools are already allowed, under present law, to arm some employees, such as resource officers and/or administrators.
“As a student attending school in Florida, I am appalled that the commission that was established to make schools in our state safer is recommending teachers carry guns,” Juliana Simone Carrasco, a student and volunteer with Students Demand Action said, according to The Guardian.
“I don’t want my teachers to be armed, I want my elected leaders to pass policies to keep guns out of the hands of people with dangerous intentions to begin with.”
A program already in trial, is training teachers to carry weapons. It’s called the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, named after the coach who protected students during the Parkland attack. Students vehemently object to the program being named after the coach. The Broward County School Board voted against the program.
“The report carries many other recommendations, including allowing school districts to increase taxes in order to raise money for school security, and requiring mental health providers to notify authorities if a patient threatens anyone. The report also sharply criticizes law enforcement officials who failed to stop the attack. “ – Courtesy of Splinter News
The report recommends that Florida “expand the guardian program to allow teachers… to carry concealed firearms on campuses for self-protection, and the protection of other staff and students in response to an active assailant incident.”Board members say it’s unlikely that the Broward County School Board will approve the recommendation this time around.
“I am very concerned about arming teachers,” school board member Robin Bartleman told the Sun-Sentinel. “I think it’s a discussion we need to have with the community. I have not found many people in favor of this. The overwhelming response I get is people don’t want teachers with guns.” – Courtesy of Splinter News
Teachers chose this profession to teach. TO educate. To bestow knowledge. Not to be substitute law enforcement. Let’s leave the guns to the trained professionals, and encourage knowledge, remove the threat and let teachers educate our children. The law currently states teachers aren’t allowed to be armed, except current military members, those with law enforcement experience and ROTC instructors.
“The report is not the commission’s final act. It is impaneled until 2023. It will identify areas requiring further investigation and make additional recommendations. Despite the traumatic impact of the massacre, the report says many entities, such as school districts, have been slow to make changes.” -courtesy of The Sun Sentinel
The earliest known school shooting in the United States on school property was, the Pontiac’s Rebellion school massacre on July 26, 1764,
4 Lenape American Indian entered the schoolhouse (near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania), shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, killed 9-10 children (varying reports) and only two children survived the massacre.
Starting in the mid-1800’s school shooting started to become more prevalent. 1853, 67, 68, 73, 79, 84 and the list goes on.
What has changed in the present day events is the amount of deaths per shooting. In the 1800-early 1900’s shootings, one to 3 people were shot and not all ended in death.
Today, the U.S. statistics are staggering.
Annual numbers look like this:
1992-1993 (44 Homicides & 55 Deaths resulting from school shootings)
1993-1994 (42 Homicides & 51 Deaths resulting from school shootings)
1994-1995 (17 Homicides & 20 Deaths resulting from school shootings)
1995-1996 (29 Homicides & 35 Deaths resulting from school shootings)
1996-1997 (23 Homicides & 25 Deaths resulting from school shootings)
1997-1998 (35 Homicides & 40 Deaths resulting from school shootings)
1998-1999 (25 Homicides from school shootings in the U.S.)
1999-2000 (25 Homicides from school shootings in the U.S.)
2000-2001 (19 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2001-2002 (4 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2002-2003 (14 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2003-2004 (29 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2004-2005 (20 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2005-2006 (5 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2006-2007 (38 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2007-2008 (3 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2008-2009 (10 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2009-2010 (5 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
-courtesy of https://www.k12academics.com/
2011 (5 Deaths, 13 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2012 (41 Deaths 16 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2013 (17 Deaths 34 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2014 (15 Deaths 36 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2015 (20 Deaths 41 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2016 (10 Deaths 15 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2017 (17 Deaths 28 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
And currently in 2018 44 Deaths and 81 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S. -courtesy of Wikipedia
What are similarities of the shooters?
When interviewed by authorities, shooters often told investigators that alienation or persecution drove them to violence. Instead of looking for traits, Secret Service urges all adults to ask about behavior:
1. What has this child said?
2. Do they have grievances?
3. What do their friends know?
4. Do they have access to weapons?
5. Are they depressed or despondent?
One “trait” that has not yet attracted as much attention is the gender difference: nearly all school shootings are perpetrated by young males. Is violence gender specific?
Only 2 female school shooting incidents have been documented. – courtesy of https://www.k12academics.com/school-shootings
With each new shooting, we have to ask the important question, how can we do the most to protect our children, our educators, our future from murdered?
School shootings are far too familiar for this generation and the young people. Regular lock downs and active shooter drills that are a part of student/teacher life in the current world.
“Gun control should be taken a hell of a lot more seriously. It should have happened after Columbine, it should have happened after Sandy Hook. I’ve never done anything about it myself, but obviously I feel a lot more strongly now. It gives you a whole new motivation, to fight for ourselves and the people who were killed.” -Lara E.
Mass shootings are a constant threat. Trauma is effecting our children’s brain patterns.
School shootings don’t just end lives, they dramatically change the lives surrounding them. We often focus on the victims of mass shootings, mourn their deaths. Remember, it’s the survivors who are left to pick up the pieces and try to move on from the violence they witnessed first hand. Survivors develop a form of PTSD.
As mass public shootings, and in particular, school shootings, continue to happen, our young people and their families are increasingly dealing with their devastating psychological effects.
Families and loved ones, NEED to be on the look out for PTSD symptoms and lending a nonjudgmental listening ear. While the average grief tends to lessen with time, PTSD symptoms normally increase as the survivor has time to reflect on the trauma.
“The shooter came for our classroom. He came after he shot those other two people in the hallway. The door was locked, thankfully, but he shot quite a few bullets into the glass and it hit a few people behind me,” student Samantha G. told the TODAY show.
To learn more about what you can do to help survivors of a traumatic life event, click here.
“I thought someone had dropped something in the kitchen at first. But then I heard more and I went under a high table. I heard more rounds, grabbed my friends and yelled “Get down. This is happening, this is happening right now.”” one survivor said.
It takes a long time for schools and it’s students. to return to normal. IF they ever do.
“I heard screaming. I heard about 5, 6 gunshots. We thought they were firecrackers because they sounded like them. And we heard the police yelling and there was banging on the doors. And I saw some bodies. It wasn’t good. One of the bodies I recognized, it was my friend’s teacher,” an unnamed student told CNN.
Together, we should all work to educate ourselves about trauma and its aftermath. Let’s make a commitment to being nonjudgmental and open-minded to helping others through traumatic events. School is hard enough. We’ve all been there. And now our children are in a surprise war zone.