Sunday, October 10, 2010

A 65 yr old Teacher Stops a Fight Between a Student Couple, Collapses, and Dies


On Friday morning (7:25 am) June 4 in Fitchburg, Mass; a 65-yr-old teacher was found unconscious without a pulse. The school nurse attempted to revive him but he was later pronounced dead at the local hospital. His collapse occurred after breaking up a fight between a boyfriend and a girlfriend in the hallway of Fitchburg HS. There was no indication that he was injured or struck while intervening in the student fight.

Commentary: While the exact cause of this teacher's death are unknown this incident raises some issues for consideration.
  • Teachers health and welfare are important especially stress management. Teaching can be a stressful profession and establishing activities which can help one manage stress is important.
  • Following a school incident, school leaders and everyone must be hyper-vigilant for a sceondary response to the first incident.
    • School members may be in poor health.
    • Anxiety or asthma attacks
    • A student with defacto PTSD from violent family experiences from the country he immigrated
  • Teachers need to consider what they will and should do when violence occurs in the school environment. The goal is to maintain safety at all times, but how does one do that:
    • Girls can be just as violent as boys when they fight, sometimes can be more unpredictable.
    • Prevention requires continual vigilance and strict policies as consequences for fighting. 
  • What is the protocol in your school if someone is seriously injured or unconscious. Remember, It always starts with activating 911 by phone, not a call to the main office or the school nurse.
  • Are there AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) at your school? How many? Where are they located? Who is trained to use them?
    • If not how do you obtain funding to get them....?

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