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Lockdowns are NOT SAFE!

by Amanda Spradlin about a month ago in student · updated about a month ago
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Changes in policy need to be made in public schools.

Screenshot of NYP headline about Texas school shooting, with "enough" covering it. Original photo credit: Snejana Farberov, NYP, 5/25/22.

School lockdowns need to end, and someone needs to start the discussion.

So, here it goes…

If our children weren’t forced to become sitting duck targets inside of brick boxes, then no shooter would have the opportunity to kill over a dozen people. All classrooms have windows. All second story rooms should have fire escapes.

First, policies need to be changed so that there are exit plans and strategies in place, for all students, from whatever classroom they are in. A big part of these shootings happening is a result of the system being structured in such a way that enables them to take place. They know the lockdown drill, so they know if they show up with a gun, they will have the whole school at the ready and waiting.

If teachers received an alert on their phones that there was an active threat, they could remove the students and have them around the corner in less than 2 minutes, while average police response time (depending on location) is about 5-10 minutes. Then, the shooter would be left alone, in the brick box, with no targets. At the very least, it would minimize the situation and increase safety for most kids because they would be quickly removed from the area.

That would be a good start.

Second, policies need to be changed so that kids are allowed to just be kids! We have bombarded them with so many objectives, expectations, and standards that do not correlate with the stages of childhood development. There is no differentiation of instruction for those with various learning or communication styles, and when staff start to use the term “redirection” to restrain a child, they are only providing them with a prisoner mentality. Most extra-curricular activities, enrichment programs, and school specials keep being cut due to funding, so these kids also don’t have anything to enjoy or be interested in at school.

We expect them to just do as they are told, but what are we telling them?

I started my experience working in schools through a work study program in college. I was a Kindergarten aid. Then, I went on to become an Administrator of an after-school learning center for gifted and talented students. After having my own kids, I wanted to be home with them during the evening. So, I applied to be a librarian at a middle school, and instead, I was hired in as a Positive Behavior Intervention Specialist for special needs students at the elementary level.

For a few years, I was put through several different “professional development” trainings which taught me a lot of great things, but they were never actually implemented throughout the district. Moreover, kids were not being placed appropriately based on their needs. Much of my time was spent in cognitive impairment classrooms assisting autistic students who needed more help than what was available.

They would not even let these kids stand up. Literally. Some preferred to sway in a standing position while working at their desks, not bothering anyone, but “they needed to sit down.” Consequently, it was my job to sit behind them, wrap my legs around their feet at the legs of the chairs, and keep them seated. Others preferred to stand while eating lunch, but again, “they needed to sit down,” so restraint was used as a method of redirection again. I could give you several accounts of situations just like this, sadly.

I hated it. I made my complaints. I requested reassignments. Nothing changed. My back had already been broken, but it was only getting worse. After being dragged down a hallway by an autistic third grader who was bigger than me, my back was even more screwed up and I couldn’t provide “redirection” in my position anymore. I had to go through the entire process of obtaining several doctors notes, be re-evaluated by multiple specialists for second and third opinions, had several sit downs with HR and talks with my union rep, and then had to answer to accusations of “just not wanting to work with kids,” before I was able to apply and interview for all other open positions in the district that I could physically do, just to be denied as a liability.

In the end, it led to an EEOC investigation which gave me the legal “permission” to sue them for discrimination based upon disability, if I could afford to do so, which I couldn’t. Even then, whatever settlement I could have been awarded would’ve came from a district that was already poor and unable to provide for their students. So, I chose not to, and I let it go. I am already disabled. It wouldn’t have given me my job back, and I did not want to make a bad situation worse. Ultimately, it is the students who suffer.

These are supposed to be public schools, not profitable systems, and not prisons of society.

There are also many wonderful teachers out there, who are full of good intention and have a passion for education, that have chosen to switch their professions willingly, because they cannot morally support the injustice and disservice that students are being subjected to in public schools today.

I homeschooled my own kids during the Covid shut down for 18 months. They returned to school in August of last year testing at or above grade level, and now they are finishing this year below grade level, but that’s a whole different story…

Right now, my son’s school has a dumpster labeled “asbestos” sitting in their parking lot, right outside of his classroom window. The principal told me their construction company “brought them the wrong dumpster.” However, it is still just sitting there. My son has been saying his throat feels funny when he’s at school, and he has a susceptibility to respiratory issues. So, he’s on early summer vacation already a week early, and that was my decision as a concerned parent.

Photo of actual asbestos dumpster in a public-school parking lot, while school is still in session.

I feel like if parents were financially able to homeschool our kids, many more of us would. In Michigan, it doesn’t make any sense to me how someone else can get compensated at a rate of $9.50 per hour, by the state, to homeschool my kids, but I can’t. It is so super frustrating because it makes no sense. I am going to start writing letters to my state department of education and my state representatives. I doubt it will get very far, based upon my experiences, but hopefully it’s a start to at least addressing some of this nonsense.

If anyone is interested, I will post it on my social media pages for others to print off and send in with their own signature. Our strength is in numbers. We parents need to start coming together and stop allowing politics to micro-manage our children. IT IS COSTING LIVES!

#notmykids

🤞🏻🙏🏻💪🏻💫💌💃

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About the author

Amanda Spradlin

Amanda Spradlin is the founder of Coincidental Chaos. She writes with the passion of a questionable mind. Any donations are appreciated!

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