Opinion
School Climate & Safety Opinion

In-Service

By Agusta Lind — October 16, 2007 2 min read

It is the second day of in-service for the 2007-08 school year. Where is the scent of crisp new books, the atmosphere of possibilities, excited voices, teachers arranging desks and designing projects for a brand-new year? Instead of working in my classroom preparing for the first day of school for students, I sit and watch a presentation with other teachers and staff in the high school auditorium, learning information about our newest roles as educators: security officer, emergency medical technician, firefighter. New terminology enters my vocabulary: active shooter, primary target, secondary target, critical incident, modified lockdown, fire suppression, Halon.

I learn that I should zigzag while running from an active shooter, and that it is better to fight a shooter if my only other option is to do nothing and die in place.

I learn that in the event of a critical incident, police officers will not hold my hand or comfort me or help if I am injured. They are there to neutralize the point of danger. It is my job to hold my students’ hands to comfort, to assess and treat injuries, account for names on classroom rosters, and search for missing students: leaving no child behind.

I learn what preventive measures I can take to abate critical incidents: I have to check for guns and knives in kids’ backpacks, check for dilated eyes, check grudges, hurt feelings, misdealings, and Internet tattle-taling.

Meanwhile, my classroom sits in disarray, boxes everywhere, desks and tables toppled on their sides, waiting for my hand to right them, straighten them to be ready for students on their first day. Waiting, waiting …

I sit and squirm on a padded seat in a darkened room, thinking about all that needs to be done, learning that fires are coded into classes A, B, C, and D. (I guess they cannot fail, no F.) I learn that Halon is expensive because it is no longer made, but that it is good for putting out fires in computer labs. Nobody knows why.

I learn the finer points of using a fire extinguisher: how to pull the pin, aim the hose, and squeeze the trigger to secure my elementary school battle zone.

I learn, when in a medical emergency, how to sort injuries, to assess what I must do to secure the most good for the most students. Because I am an educator, I can now ascertain in seconds who can wait to receive medical care, who needs urgent care, and who is beyond care: “Victim is dead—no care required.”

Meanwhile, my classroom sits waiting, waiting for me to prepare with great care the atmosphere and materials I need to give each individual child every opportunity to learn.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the October 17, 2007 edition of Education Week as In-Service

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety As States Fall Short on Tracking Discipline, Concerns for Equity Grow
Pandemic upheavals have left a majority of states with holes in their data about discipline in schools, potentially worsening disparities.
4 min read
Image of a student sitting outside of a doorway.
DigitalVision
School Climate & Safety Proms During COVID-19: 'Un-Proms', 'Non-Proms', and Masquerades
High school proms are back in this second spring of COVID-19, though they may not look much like the traditional, pre-pandemic versions.
7 min read
Affton Missouri UnProm
Affton High School students attend a drive-in theater "un-prom" in Missouri on April 18.
Photo Courtesy of Deann Myers
School Climate & Safety Opinion 5 Things to Expect When Schools Return to In-Person Learning
Many schools are just coming back to in-person learning. There are five issues all school communities should anticipate when that happens.
Matt Fleming
5 min read
shutterstock 1051475696
Shutterstock
School Climate & Safety What the Research Says 'High-Surveillance' Schools Lead to More Suspensions, Lower Achievement
Cameras, drug sweeps, and other surveillance increase exclusionary discipline, regardless of actual student misbehavior, new research finds.
5 min read
New research suggests such surveillance systems may increase discipline disparities.
Motortion/iStock/Getty