During the winter break, I delved more into the text for the critical issues course. After completing the book, there were some questions I had:
- To what extent do administrators handle critical issues daily? The case studies in the book seemed very extreme and how could one person not tackle the issue with common sense?
The case studies brought up a number of topics that were and were not familiar to me. I have thought about how I would react to the situations and reviewed questions posed at the end of each case study. I pondered the issue at hand, and everything went back to this: What is the process that will provide a safe learning environment for students?
One case study that made me really reflect was 3.5: Teacher With A Handgun-The Right To Bear Arms, Protecting Students And School Policy. I can sympathize (not empathize) with Jenna’s fear, abusive past and concern with lack of proper safety features in the town and school. I was appalled that the administrator appeared to attempt to cover up the situation, as well as surprised how vague the policies about firearms on school grounds were and Jenna’s belief it was her duty to protect her students with a firearm so much she would have it in school if a situation was that dire.
Days after reading this case study, I still think about it. There are various factors that must be addressed:
- Policy of firearms on and off school property. This needs to be reviewed and/or revised and information disseminated to the appropriate stakeholders
- Poor infrastructure of the buildings: Can anything be done to make the buildings more secure in case of an emergency?
- Moral compass of the administrator (lack-there-of)