The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #149313   Message #3475016
Posted By: Don Firth
02-Feb-13 - 06:29 PM
Thread Name: BS: Death Trap Schoolrooms
Subject: RE: BS: Death Trap Schoolrooms
The high school I attended (link to picture above) was essentially a fireproof building (brick and concrete construction) and was, nevertheless, equipped with fire alarms and a sprinkler system—and had periodic fire drills. Most of the standard size classrooms (35 to 40 desks) had only one door, but when the bell rang, you'd be surprised how fast they could empty out. Barring a general building collapse brought on by something like a major earthquake (and this building has survived intact through a few real doozies!), I can't feature anything much rendering the door unusable.

There were three restaurant/lunch counters within a half-block of the school, two fairly good sized and one hole-in-the-wall, that got most of their trade from lunchtime customers from the school, and some kids tended to hang out there and socialize a bit after school. Two of them were across a well-traveled street, but there was a stop light at the main intersection. The food was generally pretty good in terms of taste, variety, and nutrition (the proprietors were conscientious people) and a welcome alternative to the touted "highly nutritional" food in the school cafeteria—which actually wasn't that bad, really.

No problem that I can recall.

Incidentally, anti-smoking rules (tobacco—pot was practically unheard of then, suddenly coming into vogue in the Sixties) were strictly enforced within five blocks of the school for an hour before and after school. Penalty for being caught smoking was having to come in forty-five minutes early a specified number of mornings for detention. Kids who cut classes without a valid reason (written excuse from parent) also wound up in detention. And the school informed the parents of the transgression.

There were some regulars who showed up in detention (bring your textbooks and study or stare silently at the wall, your choice. And no talking!), and I'm pretty sure they didn't like school much. I remember a couple of kids who got picked up in a stolen car. They were joyriding.

But they were a tiny minority.

I can't think of much of anything to make school buildings more secure, other than a vast horde of armed guards, such as stationing a National Guard unit in every school building.

Home schooling, from what I've heard and seen of it, is not really a viable alternative. Most parents simply aren't qualified. Many who are hell-bent on home schooling have an agenda. "I ain't havin' nobody teach my kids no stuff about evolution, no sirree! I'm teachin' 'em good Christian values, by God!!"

And when, in a large number of families, both parents have to work to make ends meet, who's going to be doing the teaching?

No, there's got to be a better way. The schools are not the problem.

Don Firth