I have always encouraged my daughter, who is a senior at Niagara University and will graduate with a degree in elementary education and a minor in literacy, to stay in the Niagara area and student teach. My theory was that even the “city” school districts in our area are not true inner city school districts. She needs to know what teaching in such a district would be like to be sure she would want to do that if offered a job in such a district.
She listened to my arguments and did stay in Niagara to student teach. Her first placement was in a kindergarten class in Colonial Village in the Niagara-Wheatfield district. She compared the school to the elementary school her younger siblings went to here locally – Maine Memorial. She loved the kindergarten class. Her only real shock was that most of the kindergarten kids had not been in an organized school setting previously.
She is now in her second placement. This is in a third grade class in the Niagara Falls City District. I received a call after she got back to her apartment yesterday. When she got to school, the teachers were all gathered around and talking like something big was going on. It was.
Over the weekend, a man in Niagara Falls had shot and killed his estranged wife. The couple had a child at the school. The man was still at large. My daughter was in total amazement. There was no offer of counselling for students, or staff for that matter, by the school. The building was not on lock down. As far as the principal was concerned, this was just another Monday at 79th Street school.
I don’t know what would happen under the same circumstances in this area. Hopefully, I never will find out. I do believe, though, that local districts – especially with the father still at large – would have been under lock down. I also want to believe that counseling would be offered for both students and staff.
Is this the reaction you would expect from the district your children attend? What reaction do you think should have been taken?