Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Daily Briefing For Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Caleb's Kids

Back in August, Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics and I traveled to my high school alma mater, The Webb School, to teach student leaders the basics of trauma first aid and dealing with active shooters.

I wondered what that training would have done for those poor individuals affected by the Sandy Hook shooting.  A properly applied tourniquet or bandage could have saved some lives.  Knowing the difference between cover and concealment could have enhanced their odds.  Having some understanding of basic self defense strategies might have helped as well.

I don't know what the students, faculty and administration knew about these topics.  I am willing to bet they knew precious little.  That's not to say they weren't capable of understanding them - they most certainly are.  It is to say that the conventional wisdom in education management holds that we should not teach those skills to our educators or students.

Consider this quarter's magazine for the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).  Themed "Safer Schools For A Safer World" for this issue, the publication goes into detail about how to deal with the psychological impact of school violence.  It does very little in the way of discussing what students and faculty can do before and during an event to minimize the harm.

Tonight, I'm suggesting we challenge the conventional wisdom and begin training our educators and even our students on what to do during an emergency.  Caleb proved this summer, from the course he provided at Webb, that it can be done effectively.  (The school contacted me on Monday to request we get Caleb lined up for the beginning of the next fall semester to provide the training again, given how much the kids liked it and how pertinent it is.)

The skills we'll be teaching in the fall are applicable anywhere - a mall, at the scene of a car wreck, or in your house after a tornado.  They aren't limited to school hours.  Aside from the coming gun debate and mental health debate, we need to have another discussion: How do we train our kids to survive the perils that face us? 

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