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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 1999 1:17 pm 
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Van: This morning on the Today Show, Mas Ayoob proposed training and discreetly arming volunteer teachers and parents to help protect students. Matt Lauer was surprisingly neutral, and Katie Couric (generally a reflexive liberal) was silent. A counterpoint was offered by a school administrator (did not catch the name). Mr. Ayoob is well spoken and reserved, and does a great job of representing the pro gun side of this issue.

Any comment?

Rich


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 1999 6:28 am 
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I did not see the interview, so I can't comment on it. But, here's my nickel's worth (inflation, you know)

My State Senator in Massachusetts wants to outlaw guns and only have the military and police be authorized to carry them. No, he is Republican, and somewhat conservative.

My problem with that is only the police and military will have the guns, and the rest of us, who may or may not need a firearm, will never have access to one. One thing will lead to another, and soon the military/police will make the rules because they have the weapons (i.e. force) to back themselves up. Then, we now become a police state! Remember, the Japanese outlawed weapons on Okinowa during their occupation. So, the Okinowans developed their own. A katana vs. sais is one thing. It is another when an authoritatian figure has a firearm, and you are being repressed at the end of his barrel.
Now, if we arm teachers/administrators/parent volunteers or what not, what is to prevent them from from slowly repressing the student population? After all, the teacher is armed and the students are *hopefully* not. What will happen after the male teacher has his way with a female student, and threatens her at gunpoint? Arming the teachers opens up a pandoras box of issues that need to be addressed before it becomes fact.

Interdiction and prevention are the best keys to begin to prevent the rash of violence from happening again. If it means we begin funding mental health programs like they should be, then so be it. If it also means we aggresively treat and keep a tight leash on psycho/sociopaths then so be it.

George Mattson said something once that I liked, and it applies here. He said that with discipline comes freedom. With the freedom to carry/use/bear arms, we ALL meed the discipline that comes with it. Those that have no discipline, should have little by way of freedom until either (1) they learn discipline and and conduct themselves properly in Western society (2) we, as a society, figure out what to do with them.

I'm sorry it's so long.

Gene


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 1999 6:42 am 
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Location: Weymouth, MA US of A
After reading my post, some of you may get the wrong impression.

My paraphrase of George Mattson was ONLY the first part of the particular paragraph. He actually said it in regard to bunkai and kata! He DID NOT (at least to my knowledge) refer to firearms with that thought. I just wanted to (1) clarify (2) give to credit a really inspiring thought I heard.

Gene


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 1999 1:52 pm 
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Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
RA & Gene,

As a public school teacher (high schoo), I think I have a particular interest in this subject that many may not. With the recent shootings around the country, you better believe that teachers and students alike are walking on eggshells. You simply never know who or when. But, what is the answer? Who knows; however, I would never arm teachers or administrators. That is definately not the answer. Although I am a licensed gun carrier, schools are no place for firearms. Children should be made to feel safe and secure. If you need protection, the towns should hire police to monitor the schools and have metal detectors at the entrances. This is done in several schools that I know of with relative success. Let's be honest though, if a kid really is intent on doing something, they generally will regardless of the precautioins we take.

As for your analogy on becoming a police state if weapons are only in the hands of the authorities. Although I don't agree with Senator Hedlund on this issue, I think that conclusion is a bit far-fetched. I'm a firm believer in the Bill of Rights, and unless they are revoked or rescinded, I don't see your senario occuring, even in the worst of times. The pro-gun lobby is one of the nations strongest lobbiests. I don't think they will stand by idly.

On the other hand, there are several states which have gone the opposite route and have made gun permits accessible to almost everyone (Texas comes to mind). Some say that this strategy is working, but I think it depends on who you are talking to.

Yours in Budo,

Mike


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 pm 
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My own two cents: I think it is a sad commentary on today's society where we even need to consider such a concept as arming teachers. I can see both sides of the issue - butI don't care for my children to be educated in an environment where the adults in charge need to arm themselves. I'll go to home-schooling first. In fact - I'm seriously considering it anyway with my youngest, even though I live in one of the safest communities around. (As far as violent crime statistics go - I know that it (violence) can happen anywhere - without warning)

To survive we cannot bury our heads in the sand and ignore such complex and important concepts.

But sad indeed that we even have a need to discuss such an issue.

Seems like some of the most pessimistic views of the future are manifesting themselves in our increasingly "Caligulesque" culture.

Peace,
Lori


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 1999 10:01 pm 
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Arm the teachers ? The concept is good only for the psychological impact it might have on the demented students in not knowing who may be the well armed and trained teacher who could blow them into kingdom come ! That is probably what Massad had in mind !

In reality , forget it ! The average passive , fearful , apathetic , city dweller , living in a faulty state of mind , especially along our own Northeastern and Californian coasts , would be horror stricken if a teacher shot and killed a rampaging student even in an attempt to prevent the slaughter of the menaced innocents !

And the teachers , aside from the lack of resolve , would be in state of constant cower at the thought of having to face our gutless society !

Noted writer Bill Davidson : " Many attorneys look with disapproval on even straight and justifiable cases of self defense killings ! Courts in some jurisdictions are constantly making it harder to get off even on open and shut self-defense taking of a life .The use of firearms to prevent serious crimes against persons is becoming distasteful .Not at all untypical is the attitude of one big -city criminal lawyer : < I'll defend you for a self defense homicide shooting , but I won't like it and you'll pay like hell for it > This same individual is in the front rank of various crusades in his area and frequently goes out of his way to be identified with various causes ; he would battle to the end to defend who flew a red flag on a campus or precipitated a riot at some sit in , or assaulted a police officer . But he balked at defending an elderly citizen who used a gun to oust an intruder , with a long police record who had made repeated assaults on an old man and slammed his 78 year old wife to the floor of his home during an invasion "

Such inane inanities by the "soft thinkers " continue to vilify us and get more of us killed , teens or adults alike !

So if teachers were in fact even able to pull the trigger on the school scum , and , hopefully save innocent kids , who will then save the teachers from our Nation of cowards ?

" Every extreme attitude is a flight from the self "

Peace,


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Van Canna


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 1999 10:34 pm 
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Sorry. I say arm the teachers.

If not arm the teachers, then have armed security that goes through the hallways at schools. That may be better for some people to digest.

This reality forum really makes me shudder. Not at what you all SAY in your opinions, but the REALITY you bring me. As usual, people will not get the message that we need to defend ourselves until something bad happens to them personally. By then all the people who are homeschooling or putting their kids in private schools that encourage discipline (like we are going to do) will be doing the "I told you so" dance.



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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 1999 11:25 pm 
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< If not arm the teachers, then have armed security that goes
through the hallways at schools. That may be better for some
people to digest. >

I'll second the motion ! Plus metal detectors ! Plus a volunteer 'parents brigade' on rotational duty patrolling and supervising !





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Van Canna


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 1999 5:03 am 
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Parents involved in their children's education? Not so new actually - the private schools have ben requiring this for as long as I can remember - kind of a shock when making a change from public school - but surprisingly enough - parent involvement in private school education is a given - not a surprise.

Of course, this just could be the region I live in where private schools take this tack - but somehow I suspect otherwise.

I'm NOT stating that private schools do not have their problems - their politics and "caste" system is worse than what has plagued Uechi-ryu! But somehow the kids seem to come out ahead.

Some differences I note in local private vs. public schools:

Private schools as a rule - in this area - have:

No gang involvement.
Heavy parent involvement.
Little to no problems with weapons or other contraband.
Liberally applied discipline - even of a corporal nature when necessary.
A marked environment of respect for superiors, teachers, and elders.
HOMEWORK! That is checked and reviewed!
Higher national test scores.
A sense of morality - emphasised with mandatory religious classes and church attendance - even for Buddhists, Jews, Muslims and atheists.

No, private schools do not have all the answers - neither are they without their problems. But the end result with the children seems to be more positive than the BS we have to tolerate in the public system.

And I am NOT hailing from a social strata where private school tuition is inconsequential. (iow - it costs an arm and a leg)

I wonder what kind of lesson we can take from education that is not run by some beaurocrat who has his own children in a private school anyway!

Just spouting off.

Peace,
Lori


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 1999 12:47 am 
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Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Lori,

I have to jump in on the private school comments you have made. I teach at a public school and we are forever taking a bad rap to anyone. Let me start refuting what you say:

1. "No gang involvement in private schools?" What do you constitute a gang? Every school has their cliques, no matter where you attend. Sometimes they can be much worse than the stereotypical gang.

2. "Heavy parental involvement?" True enough in most cases, but don't underestimate the public school system. They too, have heavy parental involvement. The problem, however, is in comparing the number of students and their social-economic status. It's usually a higher income family that can afford to send their child to a private school, and have much more chance of a single parent working, leaving the other parent more time to get involved.

3. "Little or no weapons or contraband?"
Because you don't hear about it doesn't mean they don't have it. I would seriously doubt this statement.

4. "Liberally supplied discipline?" So does every public school out there. Again the problems is in the societal factor, not necessarily the school.

5. "Homework checked daily?" Please! You'll find that homework is given and checked probably about the same regardless of where you are.

6. "Higher Test Scores?" Where do you get this data from. I would sincerely like to see it if you could dig it up. On what tests? Covering what subjects?

7. "A sense of Morality?" Whose morals?

8. "Attendance in Church?" How does this work into the conversation. The church means absolutely nothing to some people, does that make them any less?

As you can tell,I am quite sensitive to the public school system. People are bashing it because it is easy to bash, but rarely do they show the real proof.

I'm not raving at you Lori, simply the topic.

Yours in budo,

Mike


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 1999 2:45 am 
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Mi Mike-san,

Please don't take my comments as a slam on the public school system - there ARE many wonderful public schools out there - and there are some lousy ones too. I have friends who teach in both systems - and I have substitute taught in both - and volunteered in both - among other activities requiring parent involvement.

I am speaking from a local perspective - based on facts from my area. It will probably take me a while to lay my hands on the statistics - but I'll see what I can dig up and post it when I find it.

For now - I'll just write what I can recollect.

1) on the gang involvement
This is personal observation - and also reports from law enforcement and gang response "teams." Granted - private schools wear uniforms - so it's harder to detect any clothing or color clues - but I venture to say that the public schools in my experience do not have gang involvement. One of the best public schools in the county - a so called "magnet" school - does have police confirmed gang activity. Cliques and other type of socially excluding groups - including very spoiled rich kids - can be VERY cruel - and this DOES exist in private schools - but I'll take that over gang involvement any day! Sticks and stones...etc. Emotional damage? Sure - but I'll deal with that with love, support and encouragement - that's preferable to me than bullets.

2) Parental involvement
True - more and more public schools are taking a clue - and getting parents more involved through incentive programs etc. Your concerns about working parents, social strata etc. are well noted. I've also had to balance single parenthood - full-time jobs - and my children. I am not independently wealthy - and sending my child to private school involved a lot of sacrifice, and extra work on my part. But my involvement in both public and private schools has shown serious amount of apathy from parents in public schools. For myself, I can't IMAGINE not knowing my child's teacher. But friends of mine who teach in public schools say that they OFTEN will make it through an entire school year with no communication from the parent or guardian from some children in their class. And these children are from a variety of backgrounds and social strata. This is impossible in the private schools I have experience with. In fact, the community I live in contains what would be termed a decidedly upper middle class neighborhood - and even some stay at home moms. Still, a lack of participation by parents in public schools is woefully evident. I'm sure you've experienced some frustrations like this at one time or another.

3) Weapons and contraband
Again, I'm speaking only from local experience. This was garnered from a county wide police report. I'm not saying that contraband never makes it into a public school. But when it is discovered - the student is suspended or expelled - end of story. Certainly similar measures are used in public schools - but why do the public schools need the metal detetors and drug sniffing dogs? The private schools locally do not yet need these measures. Something's up here. The police report was published in the local paper listing occurrences of drugs and weapons and firearms at the local schools. The private schools had little or no instances (and none involving firearms) - and the public schools - even the best ones - had a shocking number of gun confiscations for this "quiet" area. Again, I am NOT saying it can NOT happen - only that it appears to be less likely.

4) On Discipline
Here I have to differ with you. The public schools are bound by beaurocracy, red tape, social service organizations, the latest children's rights bill, etc. etc. ad nauseum. The private schools are not as bound by that - and enforce a stricter code of respect and punishment where necessary. Going to the principal's office is TERRIFYING in a private school - and avoided at all costs. The threat alone deters undesirable behaviour. In a public school however, going to the principal's office is a joke, and a way of getting out of class. Again, I am speaking STRICTLY from my own experience, in public AND private schools - and only in my local backwater town.

5) Homework
Again I differ here. The private schools in my experience went over homework and assigned importance to it. The public schools in my experience assigned a much lighter load - if any - and often it is checked - but not for accuracy or completion or correctness - just a checkmark in a book to show that the student wrote something down approximating the assignment.

6. Higher test scores
These I know I can obtain a copy of - it may take me some time though now that summer vacation is here. I will post what I find. I'm referring to standardized test scores - CTBS and the like - and also have to qualify that statement with my own belief that test scores are NOT a valuable measure of quality of education.

7. Morality
By this I am referring to a general sense of respect for your fellow human being. And also a sense of self-respect. Again, based solely on observations on a local level. I see in private schools MORE students concerned with doing their best, more concerned with their fellow students' welfare, more concerned with self-respect. I have observed in the public schools some (NOT ALL) students shunned for being different, ostracized for dressing different or not "cool", no respect for teachers or parents, a constant quest for the sensational to garner attention, and much much more. Yes, this does exist in private schools as well, but again, in my experience, to a much lesser degree.

8) Church
I'm the last person to press religious views on anyone. In fact, I experienced consternation that my own child had mandatory attendance at weekly church services, along with the Buddhists and Muslims in her class. However, exposure to teachings and stories about doing good for your fellow man, etc. are not detrimental to my way of thinking. Any religion, or set of moral standards, can accept positive teachings from other systems if they are worth anything. I would not subject my child to an extremist view of religion, and she was not required to participate in any of the "rites" - but sitting in a church situation for one hour a week seemed to me a lot more positive than some of the free-for-all "study-halls" or "free periods" that abound in the public school format.

I welcome your comments Mike - like you I am commenting on the issue - this is not directed at you - especially as a teacher. As a public school teacher - you have my highest regard. Even more these days as your job becomes more difficult and challenging on a daily basis. It is not something I can do. I don't even substitute in public schools anymore. I say quite honestly that you have my admiration and highest respect for choosing a profession that is so incredibly important, inappropriately compensated, and consistently more dangerous. I've seen too many teachers give up after a few years of facing the challenges you do on a daily basis. More power to you - and I hope that teachers with your dedication increase in number. It may do something to improve the public school system.

Peace,
Lori


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 1999 4:05 am 
Hello Mike,

A close relative of mine, retired, was the head of the History department in a local high school in the Commonwealth. More than once he related his hands were tied in what he was able to do or not do, and what he had to teach, by some group not even remotly related to the HS.

From what I understand, Mike, youse guys are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to making decisions concerning the responsibilities imposed upon you. Educators in the Commonwealth deserve more than what they have been given credit for.

In the old days, parents were afraid of the teachers. Today, teachers are afraid of the parents. What has happened, Mike?

just my 0.02

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Allen - [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> - <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email]


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 1999 12:15 am 
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Lori and Allen:

You both make great points, and don't worry Lori, I know you are not trying to rip at me.
But as you said, you are talking about these points from a local perspective. Let me see.....

First, you must understand that I too, come from both sides of the issue. I attended a private school and I now teach at a public school.

1. I won't argue the gang involvement because there is no concrete evidence on either side.

2. On parental involvement. I still think it really has to do with the social status of the child. But you are correct about some teachers never seeing or talking to their students'parents. I have approx. 145 students and I have never talked with many of them, although time had been offered to see or speak with all of them. Whose fault, the system or the family?

3. Discipline? I again disagree, and I have taken weapons off of children. The public schools run by a different code, but they are dictated by the people of the community. Therefore, you can't blame the school system per se. As for seeing the principal. Again, I ask you, are the children in the private school more afraid when sent to the principal because of the principal or their parent's reaction? Again, not the public school's fault for parents lack of concern.

4. Homework. You'll have to take my word for it when I say that the teachers I work with (100+) in the high school, most of them are extremely concerned with homework and their students' academic career.

5. Test Scores. Looking forward to seeing the results, however, if I were to take a educated guess, I would again put forth that the parents and families are from a different economic status.

Well gotta go for now, the wife is pulling me away from the machine. :-)

Yours in budo,

mike


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