Impact on teachers

October 9, 2018

When the lives of more than 18 innocent people were taken last year in school shootings, strong emotions emerged among teachers, students, and parents throughout the nation. In the RB community, teachers have been very vocal on the subject.

Science teacher Michele Koehler’s first thoughts went to her children.

“More so it was more about my own children… My daughter walked into my classroom last year and said, ‘Mom, where do you and your students go if something were to happen? There are windows everywhere. You’re not safe.’ and it just really put things into a different perspective,” said Koehler.  

In response to the exposure of the windows, RB installed bulletin boards on top of Koehler’s classroom windows facing the hallway so that intruders do not know the windows are there. This thought was common amongst many staff members, including newly hired school safety liaison, Lane Niemann.

“I have four daughters that are teachers, two son-in-laws that are teachers. They’re all in school environments, so it’s sad, but we as a society have to take measures to make things better and learn from these tragic events,” said Niemann.

Society is, in fact, trying to take preventative measures, such as selling bulletproof backpacks on Amazon for up to $200. When school psychologist Lisa Hayes was informed about the backpacks, she felt this was unnecessary.

“I don’t think it would increase safety at all. It’s unfortunate—I think society as a whole takes advantage of people who are scared and there are a lot of people who try to make money off of fear,” said Hayes.

Hayes also explains that fear is natural, and instilling fear in students and teachers is not very proactive.

“Fear is a natural part of life, I mean, we should feel fear. If we don’t feel fear, you’re going to take a lot of risks and put yourself in danger when you don’t need to…If a shooter comes into the building, we have practiced and we know what to do in that case, but the probability of something happening is very low,” said Hayes.

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