school shooting article-reviews please!
this is a random satire article i wrote off the top of my head, see if you like it. maybe i could mail it to the principal anonymously or something.
Defusing for Dumbasses
A teacher’s guide
to preventing school shootings
Okay, I’ve been hearing a lot lately about this so-called “trend” in the American education system. You know, the one where the kid who gets shoved into lockers and rejected by His Royal Jockness suddenly whips out his little 9mm semi-automatic conflict resolver and blows the bullies away? Yeah, that’s the one. The one that’s gotten parents ringing their hands and screaming on TV with a sound that can only be compared to a cat getting spayed with a wood chipper on crack. The one that makes any adult involved in the school system tremble. And I mean any adult, from the principal to the teachers to the creepy guy who walks around the cafeteria staring at people without anyone knowing what his job is (you know who I mean, every school’s got one). Everybody’s clamoring for a solution. Well, luckily for you I’ve got one. I know what you’re probably thinking. “Why should we listen to you? You’re a student! What do you know about school?” Well, since I spend all day every day in school without having access to your info-packed boardrooms and organizational PowerPoints, that’s probably a good point. But hell, can what harm will it do to listen to me? I’m sure you’re deluged with ideas from everybody, so what’s one more going to do? Well the truth is, the answer is staring you right in the face. You’ve just got to tear your eyes away from the thrill-a-minute world of paper grading and find it. You’ve got to buckle down, take a deep breath, and resolve to do whatever it takes. You’ve got to search, you’ve got to research, and you’ve got to dedicate all your resources to stopping this madness in its tracks, because nobody can deny it’s a cause worth fighting for.
Or you could just follow these steps. Whatever’s good for you.
1.Listen to the students. I know it’s tough. Why should you have to listen to them? What are they if not a bunch of immature, insubordinate, uneducated brats? Isn’t the whole reason the education system exists so that they will listen to you? After all, aren’t they the reason these tragedies happen? But come on, most fatalities in school shootings are students and we really don’t want to die anymore than you do. We’re all in this together, so let’s just try and work for the greater good, okay?
Despite the cameras, psychologists, drugs, forensic teams, and other sophisticated wastes of taxpayer dollars the school will have at its disposal, the truth is that when it comes to the analysis of school massacres the students do have some key advantages, things adults never will. What are they? Well for one thing, the taboo factor is gone. What do I mean by this? Well think of it this way. Show some adults, many of them parents, a movie involving a kid slaughtering another kid and they’ll be more offended than the Pope at a gay pride parade. They’ll probably demand the video be turned off, and leave muttering about what the world is coming to.
Now, show that video to a group of students the same age. The reaction will be decidedly different. They will cheer. They’ll laugh. They’ll make bets on who will kill who. It will be difficult to differentiate this from a football game. Why? Because they’re a bunch of psychopathic savages? No. It’s because the kids in the video are just like them. The protective instincts towards children haven’t set in yet, the concept of childhood innocence doesn’t affect them because they all know it’s bullshit. To them, to us, it’s like adults watching an action movie where other adults kill each other. There’s no PC line for us because we are them. Do you know what that means? It means we can walk into a classroom and talk about the best way to take cover from a hail of bullets without worrying about offending someone. It means we can talk openly about it, share ideas. And some of those ideas may be solutions. And believe it or not, they may actually work.
2. Give credit where credit is due. There’s been a lot of talk over the last few years about these shootings. And as is usually the case in this grand old country of ours, the majority of it isn’t about how to fix the problem. It’s about who is to blame. We can call this the Hurricane Katrina Effect (HKE) and it can cripple any investigation into a solution. Accusations fly across the airwaves faster than buckshot in a Columbine hallway (yes, I just made a joke about Columbine. Get used to it, if you can’t talk openly about these things you’re never going to get anywhere. Stop being such a pussy.) These incidents are the fault of many, but some are unquestionably more responsible than others and you need to accept that fact that one of them may be YOU. Once you do that, it will get much easier. The factors responsible are as follows: parental abuse, bullying, academic pressure, and the school administration either controlling or ignoring the tormented student. That’s the truth. Yes, that includes you. Forget your own ego and do what needs to be done. In the immortal words of the Simpsons, “won’t somebody please think of the children!?!?!?”
3. Get rid of zero tolerance. That’s it, plain and simple. If there’s one thing in a school that deserves to get dragged out from under a desk and shot in the head, it’s this hideous new project that the school system and the police have been collaborating on ever since the 80’s, this concept that within school grounds it’s okay to search, arrest, detain, and publicly humiliate a student because you suspect he may be thinking about killing someone. No proof is needed, no rights need to be read. To the teacher or school officer, it’s their way or the chair way. Not only is this the educational equivalent of rolling up the Constitution and using it as an enema, but it’s downright dangerous and unforgivably stupid. Here’s a question taken directly from a state teaching exam* that you should try: if a kid is walking down the hall after a day of laughter, ostracism, bullying, theft, and abuse, glaring at the world as he stews in his own rage, what’s the best way to defuse this time bomb? Is it A: ask him if he’s okay, maybe encourage him to take a few days off or see a counselor or B: grab him by the arm, force him against the wall and pat him down, then keep him sitting in the detention room for hours while whoever’s in charge of discipline treats him like a criminal? If you got it wrong, maybe you should go back to school.
*Note: actual question was made up on the spot.
4. Get your priorities straight. This one should be obvious, but for some reason many educators still have trouble with it. What you’ve got to do is envision your job. Picture the piles of books, the infinite stockpiles of knowledge that you’ve taken responsibility for passing on to the next generation that will keep Western civilization on its feet. Now tell yourself that it means nothing.
Yes, that’s right. Education means nothing. Or at least, it means nothing when compared to the lives and safety of your students. When some kid makes a bomb threat, standard procedure is to stop classes and have the police do a search. But why end there? Why not keep the school closed for a few days afterwards just to make sure? The cops can’t possibly believe they can scour thousands of square feet of lockers, desks, cabinets, trash cans, rafters, walls, floors, and ductwork in a few hours, can they? The standard teacher response to this is that they must keep the school running normally, to make sure that the would-be bombers understand that threatening the lives of their classmates and staff won’t get them out of their work.
Now imaging you’re the potential shooter. You’ve already had it pounded into your skull that you mean nothing by everyone you meet, that you’re a pathetic little object that nobody gives a shit about. When the people running the school, the ones who put him in this place, suddenly sent him the message that his life is so insignificant that it can be put at risk just so that the principal can save face and not fall behind in his schedule, what would that do to you?
5. Run a school, not a prison. Seriously, this security stuff started with the best of intentions (at least I hope it did…) but has gotten ridiculously out of hand. When you put cameras, computerized ID badges, bulletproof barriers, and armed guards in school, what kind of message is that sending? How is that supposed to make kids less likely to attack the building? If anything it will just make them hate more. Look, the secretary gets a bulletproof window on the main office but we students are being taught to throw books at the guy. Great, I feel safer already. I’m sure a metal detector will solve all our problems. Because if a guard spies a kid with a gun and stops him, the kid will of course mutter about his bad luck, hand over the weapon, and admit defeat. Give me a break, these kids are suicidal and they won’t care if they get caught. This is all just an excuse to increase control over the students. Don’t believe me? At my school there was a sudden dramatic increase in security measures, including cameras slipped in with the new construction to be placed in "remote areas of the school." Why would a school shooter, whose goal is to kill as many as possible, go into remote areas? Wouldn't he want to stay in heavily populated places where he could rack up a higher body count? What was their real goal here? If that doesn’t ring an alarm bell go read 1984 and come back in a few days. Good luck.
6. Stop acting so damn nice! This may initially sound hypocritical since I’ve been stressing that the best way to prevent homicidal rampages is to treat the students like human beings, but if you think about this makes perfect sense. I’m not talking about respecting them, I’m talking about that omnipotent, sickening, sugary, over-the-top atmosphere of niceness that has infected almost every aspect of how adults run the school system. You know what I mean; the rainbow painting on the walls, the educational videos with the dancing kids who look like the cast of Barney on LSD, the nauseating “motivational speeches” they force us to watch, the god-awful pep rallies. I think this was probably started as a kneejerk reaction to the abuse of generations past, when whipping a kids’ ass with a wooden paddle was common punishment. The new batch of educators nobly resolved not to repeat that treatment for their own students, and overcompensated with what we have now. People, this is not helping.
Again, imagine yourself as the kid teetering on the edge of murder. All year you’ve been abused, humiliated, beaten, cast out, rejected, and beaten down until each day becomes a living hell you dread upon waking. Then, up in front of you, you see a big pink and purple banner surrounded by politically correct murals of black and white kids holding hands that says “We are all a Loving Family!” or some damn thing. Will that make you feel better? It seems to me, the kid undoubtedly feels the same way; that the school really has no idea what life in their little “family” is really like, and doesn’t care. In their quest to preserve their friendly image, they’ve whitewashed over the very real problems that need to be solved, and left the kids who have no reason to smile in the yearbook out in the cold. Guys, you were right to reject the cruelty of the old ways, but it’s gone too far. Don’t abuse the students, but don’t pretend that life is perfect. Because it’s not, and the students know it’s not. And when we see you acting like it is, what little credibility you had with us gets torn down.
7. Lower the voting age. No, shut up, I don’t want to hear it! Don’t you dare tell me how we’re too immature to make political decisions when adults voted a movie star into the governor of California’s office. When a portion of the populace can’t vote, you know what happens? Use your head. What happens is that the government no longer has any reason to try and please them. It’s not a conspiracy, there are no shadowy men in black sitting around plotting how to disenfranchise the youth and laughing maniacally. It’s simply a basic political practice for a leader to spend the most time helping those who can help him come November. Why do you think all the “youth rights” advocates are really preaching to the parents? Because in the American political landscape, they’re the only ones that matter. If youth can’t vote, they have no say. They have absolutely no leverage. And there is absolutely no reason for politicians to help them except that goodness in their own hearts. And anyone who picks up a newspaper knows what that means. And that creates hate. A lot of hate. It happened with the Black Panthers and it can happen again. When you deny someone their right to their own lives, usually they aren’t happy about it. And without the right to vote, they often have to turn to another amendment to get what they want. Maybe even the second one.
8. Let kids defend themselves. I cannot stress this enough: A bully who attacks another kid and the kid who got attacked and fought back SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHED THE SAME!!! Come on, this is basic stuff! It’s called self defense, and it’s the core idea that freedom and independence is based on. If a kid is getting tormented all day, what’s he supposed to do? You can’t expect him to just sit there and take it, how would you feel if one of your coworkers was slamming you against the water cooler and your boss fired both of you when you tried to push the guy away? And don’t tell me that they should go see an adult and report it because no sane student would do that. Bullies thrive on making their victims look weak, and what makes him look more right then to see the kid go crawling to the adults for help? In case you don’t know the finer points of student culture, let me tell you that the kind of humiliation that stems from that is what can drive a person to suicide. Or homicide. And don’t you dare tell me that they should “use their words” because your average bully isn’t going to listen. And besides, how can you really use your words in a world where a teacher can force you to be quiet during a lecture on the Bill of Rights? Come on, bite the bullet and start an after school karate class. Don’t arrest a kid for assault with a deadly weapon after he defends himself with a pen. And don’t punish anyone for self defense. Giving kids the means to fight back, violently if necessary, doesn’t solve the root of the school shooting problem. But frankly, none of us feel like being sitting ducks until your psychologists and politicians think of a solution.
9. Stop listening to the lunatics. If you house was full of termites and a guy came to your door saying that a few squirts of his magical wonder-cleaner would solve your problem for ever and asked for your credit card number, would you trust him? Of course not! So it baffles me why parents and educators seem so ready to jump on whatever crazy “miracle cure” the latest snake oil salesman promises. Ban video games. Outlaw rap music. Make all toy guns orange. Stop kids from playing “cops and robbers.” Bring religion back to school. On and on these religious and morality groups screech their battle cries in the name of “protecting the children” to the point where people actually start to believe it’s the truth.
Well let me tell you something: that is bullshit. Violent video games and movies have been around for decades, literally millions of people worldwide watch and play them worldwide. And how many of them end up going on a murderous rampage? Have you ever actually bothered to check the number? Here, I’ll save you the trouble: it’s REALLY REALLY SMALL. So small in fact, that even if a connection does exist, eliminating it would mean censoring one of the most prevalent forms of communication in existence today. And that’s simply not worth the risk to the First Amendment when there are other, better “cures” available. And don’t tell me they use violent videogames to “train” themselves for the massacre, that does not work (I’m talking to you, Jack Thompson. Kiss my ass you idiot). Pressing keys with your thumbs doesn’t give you the reflexes and instincts necessary to massacre a building full of people. To do that it takes the pure rage and despair of someone with nothing left to lose who wants only revenge. And if someone’s at that point, they’re going to do it whether they play Counter Strike or not. In all seriousness, stop listening to these people. They are the lowest kind of scum, the bottom-feeding opportunists who get dollar signs in their eyes whenever they hear horrified parents crying on the news. Grow a backbone and stand up to these people, don’t let them exploit the dead for their own warped purposes.
10. Look beyond the classroom. This is for you liberals out there. The ones who stared, aghast, at the fireball blossoming from the side of the World Trade Center on that unforgettable morning in September, and felt the same way as you watched the government slowly but surely eat away at your civil liberties in the name of national security. You watched as the threat of another 9/11 turned people into sheep, scared, panicked sheep who gladly surrendered their freedoms for the promise of protection. You swore to yourself you would never let that happen to you.
So why is it, that after the tragedy at Columbine High School, you let the same thing happen within the education system? Why did you condemn the actions of the Bush administration while leading the charge in your own office? When you think about it, the parallels are frightening. The PATRIOT act in Washington, zero tolerance in the school. Cameras and wiretaps from the FBI, surveillance cameras and microphones in hallways and cafeterias. Terror suspects held indefinitely in Guantanamo Bay without a lawyer or due process, rebellious students shipped away to abusive behavior modification camps without any legal process whatsoever. Muslims attacked and discriminated against, quiet and withdrawn students ostracized and branded as terrorists. Think about it for a while. Are you really so narrow-minded that you can’t see the same thing happening on a smaller scale? “9/11” and “Columbine” have become the magic words. All a president or principal has to do is say it and they get whatever they want. All joking aside, you need to open your eyes.
11. Last but not least, be a good role model. You know this one, it’s one of those sickeningly corny slogans you’ve thrown around anytime education is mentioned. Well, how about actually following through on it? Treat your students with respect. Don’t abuse them, don’t silence them, don’t condescend to them, don’t ignore them, don’t leave them defenseless, and don’t treat them like property. Remember, these are the people who are going to be taking over the country someday. Do you really want them to learn from your example? The example of the people who drove their classmates to murder then buried their heads in the sand and pretended everything was under control? Because that’s what we’re seeing right now, and it’s not pretty. Students are becoming prisoners. And prisoners try to escape, that’s just what they do. And when that fails, they go for the next best thing: revenge. And when they do, it leads to even more security and oppression. And all that does is drive more kids to the edge. It’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken, and it can only be done if this idea that age=power dies. And we all need to kill it together or more people will die. I know there are teachers out there who feel this way, maybe even you. Why else would you be reading this? Of course, if you’re turning red with rage at my insubordination in writing such blasphemy, never mind. Go take an aspirin and lie down, then please get the hell out of my school because you’re not helping anyone.
Come on, let’s all load up our TEC-9s and sawed-off shotguns, put on our trench coats, and hunt down that bastard named age discrimination and mow him down where he stands! Or you could just dismiss this as typical student whining. If you do, that’s cool. I’m sure sacks of shredded Playstation controllers will make a great sandbag bunker when the next attack comes. Good luck.
I think Buenaventura Durruti is a pretty cool guy. eh kills fascists and doesnt afraid of ruins.
The quickest way to kill a revolution is to wait for it.