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View Diary: How Regulation came to be: Our Lady of the Angels (79 comments)

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  •  And that is why fire drills at Catholic schools (12+ / 0-)

    look nothing like fire drills at any other institution.

    I still remember being in Catholic grade school in the 70's and we had the most efficient, quietest, safest fire drillss in the entire area.  No one talked, we just quickly marched out in a row and if an exit was blocked, the first person in line threw up their arms, everyone else behind did the same (no talking), we all turned around and went out our alternate exit.

    I think we could clear the entire building and have all the students accounted for in about a minute and a half.

    Then I went to other schools, where exiting for a fire drill was like leaving at the end of the day without stopping by your locker first.  Everybody wandering without urgency and chatting like it was all a game.  As a teacher now, I would be hard pressed to account for all of my students with the melee they usually hang around in.

    •  melees? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sberel, dsteffen, martini, yaque

      When I was in school: elementary, middle, and highschool alike, the fire drills were orderly and effective.

      The principal would announce over the PA that there would be a fire drill that day.  When the bell went off, everyone would line up behind the teacher and exit in line, no talking, to a designated area.  We would stand there for a few minutes (I think the teachers counted us off, I don't recall) and then be told we could return.  

      Occasionally in elementary school, we had "indoor fire drills," which I later recognized were the remnants of nuclear attack drills.  Into the hallways in a line, and sit down in front of the lockers.  At the time it seemed like an innocent enough exercise, and better than having to go outside in the winter.  

      If fire drills have broken down into confused messes, that's just another sign of how fucked up our priorities as a society have become.  

      •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sberel, Fabian, yaque

        If fire drills have broken down into confused messes, that's just another sign...

        I'd say it's a failure of management.  Someone needs to lay down the law.  Make clear in no uncertain terms that this is serious, life-and-death shit.  I know discipline is tougher in schools these days -- Mrs. d spent 16 years in the classroom -- but it can be done.  It takes leadership, from the top down, committed to making it happen.

        Re: your mention of the indoor fire drills -- our schools have drills like that, but they have tornadoes for a plausible excuse.  

        We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

        by dsteffen on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 08:10:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  no tornadoes where i was... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dsteffen

          ...in the northeast.

          Anyway, if discipline is a problem, then there is a cultural problem underlying it.  And a school principal could lay down the policy on this and support the teachers in enforcing it.  Rewards and penalties, applied swiftly and impartially, will eventually work.  

          Some of this goes back to the parents.  That's a whole 'nother issue, but the bottom line is, if someone isn't up to being a parent, they damn well ought not to go making babies.  And the way to get at this is via a family ed program that teaches kids about the responsibilities of parenthood.  Making them carry around a 5-lb. sack of flour for two weeks as if it's a baby, is quite an effective method for teaching kids one element of what it means to be a parent.  An effective program will encourage serious attitudes about sexuality that will persist after graduation.   That plus the universal availability of contraceptives, and this problem will largely solve itself.  

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