Robert Wilder: Teaching in the Time of School Shootings


By Robert Wilder

It seemed like just another in a long string of faculty meetings. I figure (using very rough math skills) that I must be getting close to a thousand after-school faculty meetings (full faculty, upper school, middle school, department, committees). I’m not complaining (at least not today); we met far more frequently when I started here in 1996, and I’m familiar with schools who convene almost daily after last bell or before classes in what they call zero hour. Since the forty or so of us had just returned from a two-week spring break, the fatigue and irritation levels read low. With only five items on the agenda, I’d hoped we’d be released in time for me to fully cook a clay pot chicken by dinner hour.

Things were moving along.

The final agenda item was an update from the head of the Emergency Response Team. In the first week of January, a month after the Aztec shooting only two hundred miles from our school and a month before Stoneman Douglas (so familiar now that I don’t need to explain), our school held a lockdown drill—an exercise geared toward an nearby danger but not an active shooter. >>> Read the rest of the article at