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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Uvalde Massacre (with addendum)


A few thoughts....

As of this writing, nineteen dead students and two dead teachers.  All massacred by an eighteen-year-old monster, with malice aforethought.

Most of you know me as a teacher of high school students.  I have been a teacher in that role since February 1998, when I started teaching classes of homeschool students, most of the students in Grades 8-12. 

Before 1998, however, I taught elementary school students in a private school, from 1978-1997.  Furthermore, in that private school, I taught Grades 2-4 from 1978-1986.  I know first-hand that students in that age group are "babies," as Judge Jeanine Pirro called them yesterday on The Five.  As a former teacher of the same student age group as that of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, when the story broke yesterday, I felt as if I'd been punched in the stomach.  

The story of the massacre also took me back to a period of my life some thirty years ago.

I well remember when the school where I worked had to "harden the target" from spring to the close of school that year — because of the maniacal estranged husband of one of our teachers.  He was threatening, in his words in a phone call to the school's office, to "shoot up the school."  All of a sudden, within only a few minutes, we had armed guards to protect us and could not allow our classes to have free-play time outside; neither could students wait outside for their carpools without armed guards posted.

I still recall the youngest students' terrified faces.  The bogeyman under the bed had suddenly become very real for them.

The situation was so strained even weeks after the initial threat that the teacher with the maniacal estranged husband resigned her position to protect the school's students in future school terms.  What's more, she herself had to go into hiding to save herself.  She lost her teaching career — and she was a fine teacher.  

And the school where I worked did indeed lose considerable enrollment for the next few years.  Understandable, in my view.

Frankly, I don't have a positive view of "hardening the target" by fencing in a school and by having armed patrols in a school, particularly in a school with students as young as those in Robb Elementary School.  Maybe "hardening the target" is what we must do to protect students and teachers.  But the impact on education under those circumstances is not a good one for the promotion of learning.  I've seen and lived that impact myself.

Here's what I know for a fact about the aftereffects of the Uvalde Massacre....

The parents affiliated with Robb Elementary School will never be the same.  Neither will the surviving students.  Neither will the surviving teachers.  And the change will not be a good one.  Lord, have mercy!

Addendum

I found something quite interesting at the WaPo, and this might "explain" why Ramos attacked Robb Elementary School: 
...Uvalde High School school [seniors] had visited Robb Elementary School just a day before the massacre, wearing their graduation robes and high-fiving the grade-schoolers, who lined up in the hallways — a community tradition....
See this Tweet, dated Monday, May 23, the day before the massacre.

Salvador Ramos was not on track to graduate with his class this year.

70 comments:

  1. I grew up in a city in SoCal and first went to elementary school in early 60s and HS in the early 70s. In both cases we were locked into our schools.

    There were 4 HSs and they all had armed guards that checked everyone entering and patrolled. If you were disruptive and continued to be a problem you were sent from one, to another, then the third, and finally the police picked you up to take you to the fourth. The fourth had police in each classroom and was small. There was no issues in the schools.

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  2. (((Thought Criminal)))May 25, 2022 at 7:53:00 AM CDT

    All of these public school shootings will continue to happen until we address the one thing they all have in common.

    We need to ban public schools.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We are a six society marinating in a rotten, putrid culture. Now begins the pseudopolitical analysis of this latest horror. Where left and right will point fingers at each other and people will scour all information trying to say this person was a Democrat or a Republican or whatever.

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  4. This is not a call to ban social media, but the evidence is clear it is definitely making us sicker and sicker

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly right. I won't rehash my standard line about society....but suffice to say that Social Media is the nexus for most of the psychological and criminal behavior we're seeing in this generation.

      There's only one solution for the next generation - parenting and mentoring. I get it. It's hard. It takes time. It takes you away from leisure pursuits and Social Media.

      But the same intellectual midgets currently jerking their knees over guns this morning....are living their lives with Social Media at the fore.

      Delete
    2. Add to that the overprescribing of medications such as SSRI's. I'm convicted [because I've witnessed it] that many parents pursue diagnoses for kids acting much as we did in our youth, because it allows them to project their parental malfeasance onto some alleged 'disorder'. Not only do they handicap their child's future by doing this, but they create the petri dish for medicated and under-parented kids to lash out in violent and criminal tantrums.

      Delete
    3. Social media is a symptom of the problem, not the cause. The cause is "capitalist realism" and it stems from the belief that the "customer is always right". As such, the customer is driven largely by his "pleasures" and not his "wisdom". We've become a society of epicureans who disdain and avoid stoicism.

      Delete
    4. Soon to be a nation of gypsy like renters who own nothing...

      Delete
    5. Depression has many symptoms, among them a deep lethargy, and I think it's an unfortunate effect shared by many kinds of medication that they lift the lethargy before they lift the mood, briefly making the patient more impulsive and liable to act out on his impulses. Suicides are very often carried out just after starting or changing medication. I've no idea of this boy's medication history, but it always struck me as a cruel irony.
      School shootings are so routine now, I barely paid this one any attention before reading Always' personal reaction. A very useful window into the reality of what's just happened. Terrible.

      Delete
    6. If you're not "enjoying" yourself in our capitalist paradise, you need to be medicated... or self-medicating. People who refuse to enjoy themselves are a real drag on the rest of us.

      Delete
    7. CI,
      I am in complete agreement with you about the psychotropic drugs: Not only do they handicap their child's future by doing this, but they create the petri dish for medicated and under-parented kids to lash out in violent and criminal tantrums.

      Delete
  5. In my childhood, every time I complained about someone else hurting my feelings, be it a teacher or another child, my parents would respond with the same statement, "You cannot control what other people do." They would go on to tell me that I had to learn to deal with my feelings. We don't teach that any more.

    We now teach children that it is not necessary to deal with their own feelings, that their distress is someone else's fault, and that the solution is to control others - to control their friends and even their teachers. Or get their parents to do the controlling in their behalf.

    But controlling others does not work, even when it appears to, because the real problem is not dealing with one's own feelings, which children are not only not taught to do, but are specifically taught not to do. The result is emotional, mental, and occasionally physical violence. This will all get worse.

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  6. BAYSIDER
    What CI said exactly, plus it's often the SCHOOL which pressures parents to get kid on drugs. 1) it's truly hard to control people with broken brains - I KNOW!! That can take all your energy and focus and other students are cheated. 2) School gets more $$$ for having a classified 'special' student in their midst. Least that's how it worked 30 years ago.

    I was in K-12 in So Cal at the same time as anonymous. I had no such experience. Campuses were open, no gates or fences, no guards. But my husband refereed high school soccer games in the 90's. Different story! In one area (Lincoln Heights or El Sereno) he was told to drive his car up from the parking lot onto the track by the field where it would be safe during the game.

    My heart goes out to you AOW with vulnerable memories flooding back. Once objects of earned respect, teachers have a very tough job now.

    Jayhawk, that's very wise. You get kids in college - ersatz adults - who need comfort rooms with blankies and puppies when a campus speaker is talking about a subject that makes the feel uncomfortable, and you are indeed a mess. Common courtesy has been turned into a baleful mutant rudeness by the snowflake crowd.

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    Replies
    1. Baysider,
      I wasn't prepared for the return of my own vulnerable memories. I hope to sleep dreamlessly tonight. I didn't last night.

      And if I am having this reaction, just think of all the reactions in Uvalde -- right now and over at least the next several months. **sigh**

      Delete
  7. Like I wrote at GeeeZ, this is a people issue not a gun issue. The local governments need to provide funding to schools to secure them like they secure traffic court with police and guards, walk through sensors and scanners and make it difficult to "just walk in." Schools are soft targets and it is time that stops being allowed by us all. It mortifies me.

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    Replies
    1. Layla,
      I understand that, in the wake of the massacre in Uvalde, people want to harden soft targets, particularly schools. But do we want to build ten-foot brick walls with concertina wire around the schools the way that prisons are? Such walls would be needed to secure the bus-loading zone, the playgrounds, etc. In my view, schools should not be prisons! I know what it felt like to me when the school where I worked turned into a prison for several weeks. Ugh.

      The above said, I fully admit that I don't have the answers.

      Specific to Uvalde, what were the many warning signs before Salvador Ramos had his killing spree? Drug use, legal or otherwise? Social media interactions? Running with the wrong crowd? Did not his grandmother see what was coming? What of Ramos's parents?

      Delete
    2. AOW, I am not talking about building walls around schools or barbed wire fences. I am speaking to the fact that there can be a security system in place at each entrance with two persons (deputies or police - the locale can decide) that sends the kids through and all visitors through it to check for weapons so that no one can get past that front door like this 18 year old monster did. As long as there are bad people we must do this for the children. Why would we argue the issue after how many times this has happen? They will keep killing the kids until an end is put to it. They instituted this in Chicago and kids in schools are now not soft targets. As to guns they will find them even if they go underground to do so. If someone is intent on killing they will find a way but we should make it hard for them to do it. As I said, the problem is not the guns, it is the people.

      Delete
    3. Layla,
      there can be a security system in place at each entrance with two persons (deputies or police - the locale can decide) that sends the kids through and all visitors through it to check for weapons so that no one can get past that front door like this 18 year old monster did.

      Salvador Ramos entered through either a side door or a back door. Why was the door unlocked? For that matter, why was the classroom door unlocked?

      As far back as when I last worked in a classroom school (June 1997), all doors in the school were kept locked except when students were entering or exiting. The same went for classroom doors. All this, largely because of custody issues -- we had several broken homes with custody issues.

      Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook murderer, on the other hand, entered by shooting his way in:

      Lanza shot his way through a glass panel next to the locked front entrance doors of the school.

      Delete
    4. Everything must be hardened now. When we have so many dangerous people roaming free, government can't do a damn thing about it, we are all prisoners here in this prison nation.

      The founders told us: This government and nation only works for a moral people. We are not.

      Delete
    5. AOW, my point is that they have one entrance or they secure all of them. No excuses. They must do this now or continue to see masacres such as this.

      Delete
  8. Agree. Any target that can't shoot back is a soft target. It's reported that the batman shooter in that Colorado theater searched for one that did not allow guns. He did not want a 'fair fight.'
    BAYSIDER

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  9. SilverfiddleMay 25, 2022 at 8:08:00 AM - said
    We are a six society marinating in a rotten, putrid culture. Now begins the pseudopolitical analysis of this latest horror. Where left and right will point fingers at each other and people will scour all information trying to say this person was a Democrat or a Republican or whatever.

    Reply

    SilverfiddleMay 25, 2022 at 8:09:00 AM CDT - said
    This is not a call to ban social media, but the evidence is clear it is definitely making us sicker and sicker

    Repy

    Well, we can blame it on social media or anything else to help keep us from doing a single goddamned thing to address the USA culture of guns and death. But, until something substantial is done (like the UK did after it's worst mass shooting) the violence will continue unabated.

    And the republican party and cons in general bear great responsibility for having done absolutely nothing. As usual./

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey dummy, thanks for quoting me. Hey dummy, have you noticed any threads or commonality among all of these? Like maybe mental illness?

      I don't like repeating social media memes, but for a dummy like you, I will dummy it down:

      There are over 180 million gun owners in this country, with perhaps maybe a half a billion arms, and billions of rounds of ammunition. If we were the problem, you and this whole damnation would know

      Delete
    2. I'm surprised that he/she/they/them only proffered a couple of tired canards. The gun control cabal has hundreds of stale, false and easily refuted, drive-by deceptions.....that you'd figure they'd come in.........nah, won't use the usual puns today.

      Delete
    3. OK, I'll play along. Name the lies, and point out examples of my ignorance. Back over to you!

      Delete
  10. Read the solution - https://qz.com/705270/how-the-uk-responded-to-one-of-the-worst-mass-shooting-in-its-history/ - t's worked very well elsewhere. But of course... NOT IN RED AMERICA! NEVER!

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    Replies
    1. We should applaud the Brits for choosing edged weapons over firearms to commit crime...???

      Delete
    2. How many more/fewer elementary school children could an 18 year old kill with a sword?

      Delete
    3. I personally would have gone with a fertilizer car-bomb if I had wanted to maximize casualties...

      Delete
    4. Hey, if we ban homo's from the US, we can also avoid the monkey-pox virus. When should the ban on gays start?

      Delete
    5. Maybe we should let the lesbo's in. It's only the guys who seem to be getting their "monkey-freak" on...

      So far only 2 monkey pox victims out of 330 have been "gendered" as female.

      Delete
    6. First the gays 'gifted' the world with AIDS... now they're gifting us with "monkey pox". I sure hope that SCotUS overturns Lawrence v. Texas soon.... save us a lot of USPH dollars, until, of course, CDC funds the next Wuhan lab leak...

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    7. I can't say for certain... only "suspect".

      Delete
    8. This is what we get for not making commenters first demonstrate that their head will not fit inside of a thimble

      Delete
    9. @AoW - The only truely logical answer to your Manchester question is, "You don't 'f with the Peaky Blinders!"

      Delete
    10. Ooops. My bad. The Peaky Blinders were from Birmingham. The Scuttlers were from Manchester. :(

      Delete
    11. (((Thought Criminal)))May 25, 2022 at 8:52:00 PM CDT

      I love that show so much lol

      Delete
  11. I found something quite interesting at the WaPo, and this might "explain" why Ramos attacked Robb Elementary School:

    Uvalde High School school [seniors] had visited Robb Elementary School just a day before the massacre, wearing their graduation robes and high-fiving the grade-schoolers, who lined up in the hallways — a community tradition.


    See this Tweet, dated Monday, May 23, the day before the massacre.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe they need to stop being so public in all schools-this is serious and these nut jobs will just keep on doing it. I believe he just was scoping out how easy it would be to get in. Monster!

      Delete
    2. Layla,
      I doubt that Ramos was in that group. He was not scheduled to graduate this term.

      Delete
  12. The political half-pint in a ten gallon asshat Robert O'Rourke made a total ass of himself inserting his pathetic political campaign into the press conference on the murders. The Uvalde mayor shouted him down and pegged him for what he is: a "sick son of a b-itch"

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    Replies
    1. SF,
      I saw that video footage of Beto O'Rourke making his grandstand play. Disgusting beyond words to me!

      Delete
    2. Beta boy isn't very bright, and not very original. I believe he was trying to recreate this confrontation in Denver from back in 2019, where a then-citizen Lauren Boebert confronted and embarrassed him at his rally.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MzQT1t3Rto

      Delete
  13. There are several elements to this tragedy, one being-most of the children were Border Agents children. Two: the NRA Convention is to be in Houston; which NRA public relations person said will not be cancelled. Oh how the Dems -from the Houston Mayor and Robert Frances O'Roork to the Dems in Congress are pleading with The Governor of Texas and Congressional Members of The U.S. Congress NOT SPEAK AT or Attend the Convention.
    3: With the Border Agents leaving their post, how much drugs or illegal people and or terrorist slipped in. Was this a dirversion?
    4: Was this a message to the brown people there that say they are not voting Dem no more-they had better vote for Dems?
    The Duram Report has Finally exposed who the DemocRat Partys' Comrades Are.

    ReplyDelete
  14. See page 5 of the 2021 publication USSS Averting Targeted School Violence.

    There were several warning signs exhibited by Salvador Ramos well before the day of the shooting!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Where does a teenager get 3,000 dollars to buy those expensive long guns and a hand gun and over 700 rounds of ammo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm guessing Grandma....probably involuntarily.

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    2. ok----I heard he sold his car.

      Delete
    3. (((Thought Criminal)))May 26, 2022 at 2:44:00 PM CDT

      He worked at Wendy's

      Delete
  16. I'm reasonably sure the political fight over gun control has been to close loopholes in the background check law that already exist. Most GOP lawmakers agree with the law yet refuse to fix the flaws that make it useless.

    The legislation really isn't a battle between Ds and Rs but rather between Ds and the NRA (who own the Rs).

    Think back 4 years ago when a naïve Donald Trump stood up after the Parkland FL and said Republican lawmakers were “afraid” and “petrified” of the NRA and and adding “they have great power over you people”.

    The very next day the NRA folks were actually in the Oval Office sitting things straight. Obediently, Trump quickly change his tune.

    So we're still living with a flawed background check law where mentally deranged and seasoned felons and even escaped fugitives can go to a gun show or go online and buy whatever they want.

    And NRA owned red states are even making it easier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a TON of firearm owners that have absolutely no use for the NRA, myself among them. There are other Civil Rights organizations that have a better track record of legislative victories than the NRA-ILA.

      We're perfectly content however, to let the petulant and impotent rage from the Left, continue to be directed at the NRA.

      You make one very small, valid point about background checks - the NICS. Only when State and Federal agencies finally bring their systems into the 20th century [much less the 21st], will the system finally be useful for stopping the prohibited from buying firearms from FFLs.

      Delete
    2. I'm with CI. I resigned my life membership in the NRA many years ago. I joined when they were an organization promoting gun safety and sportsmanship, and left when they became a political action group. I own more than one firearm and have nothing but disgust for the NRA.

      Delete
    3. I'm sure there are plenty of gun owners and Republican voters who have no use for the NRA.

      But there is an overwhelming percentage of government leaders who do.

      And until that changes, NICS will remain ineffective.

      Delete
    4. Help prevent forest fires, register matches!

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    5. The NRA isn't standing in the way of making NICS effective.

      Delete
    6. I don't work in Gov.-I have no leaders, only public servants.
      They are our Employees.
      The Media uses "leaders" too routinely.
      And there was a 4 person group in Pennsylvania who were shot last night .
      Look for more and more.
      They are coming for the guns.
      Fox News and Rand Paul interview shown now on utube Showing a big group of THE ELITE in Europe Having a Convention about One World Order.
      They are getting old and Want It NOW.
      John Cary was There and George Soros among other Dems.

      Delete
  17. The NRA speaks for the majority of the PEOPLE who tell the NRA what and WHO to speak to.
    This is still a Democracy - RIGHT?

    ReplyDelete
  18. There are ways forward to address and potentially stop such horrible events

    "In a study of mass shootings from 2008 to 2017, the Secret Service found that “100 percent of perpetrators showed concerning behaviors, and in 77 percent of shootings, at least one person – most often a peer – knew about their plan.”

    https://thefederalist.com/2022/05/25/dont-surrender-to-do-somethingism-on-guns/


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Steven Pinker believes that violence 'overall' is actually in historic decline...

      Delete
  19. Sorry, can't review every comment above but, for fear of repeating someone, YES, the argument with Grandma (who's on life support) was apparently about his not graduating and how angry she was....And I think that idea of the seniors visiting the school in joy could very well have set him off. Americans are afraid to "turn in" people who threaten "Jokingly" or seriously, afraid to call someone 'nuts', etc., because our Left finds that unkind and it could cause trauma, etc...I'd say some therapy which could embarrass someone could very well be worth it.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like there may have been some confusion in the shooter's mind regarding the concepts of reality and hyper-reality and social behaviours appropriate to each. There are just so many 1st person shooter games now...

      Thankfully, when I was an adolescent (17), we only had "Pong" and "Tank" games... a very rudimentary 1st person shooter. There' was little chance of confusing the real world with the hyper-real

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    2. Children today are being socialized to the hyper-reality of social media.... where real-world consequences can be largely mitigated and only consequential if we confuse its' hyper-real nature with reality.

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    3. For "reality" is never "real"... at least not in our minds.

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    4. FJ...our kids are MESSES....I know plenty of 'normal, wonderful' ones, but MAN, do we hear horror stories! Look at the kids parents take to dinner and the parents plug the kid into some device to keep them busy, not relating to those at the table. Go to church and see coloring books, God forbid a child should become used to JUST SITTING AND LISTENING...but if the kid complains, the parents get scared and GIVE IN!! I taught a little class about 10 years ago at a preschool...the first and second years were astonishing! The kids loved it and soaked up my lessons...after that, each year, they didn't get it; they squirmed more than usual,...they were lost. I asked the Director about it, she said "That's happening with all our kids...." Our kids are not BEING socialized...just PLUGGED IN and forgotten. Then we wonder about kids flipping out and shooting out of utter RAGE!

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    5. We don't see the danger.... It's crazy.

      -FJ

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