Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Furniture Tip Over On Accidents & Kids

For all of the new Moms & Dads and Aunts & Uncles Out There, Educate Yourself About the Danger of Furniture Tip Over Accidents. 

Seven Ways to Prevent Furniture Tip-Over Accidents in Your Home

Furniture and TV tip-over incidents are one of the top hidden hazards in the home. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) encourages you to inspect and anchor furniture and TVs in order to protect young children from a preventable tragedy.
Between 2000 and 2010, the CPSC received reports of 245 tip-over-related deaths, and more than 90 percent involved children 5 and younger. The majority of these children suffered fatal injuries to the head.
You can prevent tip-over accidents by following these safety tips in any home where children live or visit:
  • Anchor furniture to the wall or the floor.
  • Place TVs on sturdy, low bases.
  • Push the TV as far back on the furniture as possible.
  • Keep remote controls, toys, and other items that might attract children off TV stands or furniture.
  • Keep cable cords out of reach of children.
  • Make sure freestanding kitchen ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.
  • Supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not been followed.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

School Attack In Nigeria: 29 Boarding School Students Shot & Burned Alive

Points for Consideration Up Front: I am exposing the reader to this horrific story of an international school attack by terrorists because as educators it is important to be globally aware. What is the likelihood of terrorists attacking your school? Not probable, and certainly the threat is extremely low, but possible.  

POTISKUM, Nigeria – On July 6, 2013, Islamic militants (allegedly from the Boko Haram sect) attacked a boarding school (1,200 students) in Northeast Nigeria before dawn Saturday, killing 29 students and one teacher. The gunmen are believed to be from the Boko Haram sect whose name means "Western education is sacrilege."  Scores of schools have been burned down in the past year in Northeast Nigeria.  Some of the pupils were burned alive in the latest school attack blamed on a radical terror group, survivors said. Parents screamed in anguish as they tried to identify the charred and gunshot victims.

By Adamu Adamu and Michelle Faul, The Associated Press

     Farmer Malam Abdullahi found the bodies of two of his sons, a 10-year-old shot in the back as he apparently tried to run away, and a 12-year-old shot in the chest. "That's it, I'm taking my other boys out of school," he told The Associated Press as he wept over the two corpses. He said he had three younger children in a nearby school. "It's not safe," he said. "The gunmen are attacking schools and there is no protection for students despite all the soldiers." Survivors at the Potiskum General Hospital and its mortuary said gunmen attacked Government Secondary School in Mamudo village, 3 miles from Potiskum town at about 3 a.m. Saturday.

     They killed 29 students and an English teacher Mohammed Musa, who was shot in the chest, according to another teacher, Ibrahim Abdu. "We were sleeping when we heard gunshots. When I woke up, someone was pointing a gun at me," said 15-year-old Musa Hassan. He put his arm up in defense, and suffered a gunshot that blew off all four fingers on his right hand, the one he uses to write with. He said the gunmen came armed with jerry cans of fuel that they used to torch the school's administrative block and one of the hostels. "They burned the children alive," he said, the horror showing in his wide eyes.

     He and teachers at the morgue said dozens of children from the 1,200-student school escaped into the bush but have not been seen since. Some bodies are so charred they could not be identified, so many parents do not know if their children survived or died. Islamic militants from Boko Haram and breakaway groups have killed more than 1,600 civilians in suicide bombings and other attacks since 2010, according to an Associated Press count. President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency May 14, and deployed thousands of troops to halt the insurgency, acknowledging that militants had taken control of some towns and villages.

     Military attacks against the Muslim extremists appear to have driven the extremists into the mountains with caves, from which they emerge to attack schools and markets. The militants have increasingly targeted civilians, including health workers on vaccination campaigns, teachers and government workers. 
© 2013 The Associated Press.  

Final Comment: The techniques, tactics, and procedures of Islamic Extremists (VEO: Violent Extremist Organizations) terrorists used abroad can and have been visited upon our shores. 

Atlanta Elementary School Shooting Disaster Averted (Aug 20, 2013)

School Gunmen, Michael Hill Booking, 20
Bottom Line Up Front: This appears to have been a barricaded hostage situation at a school where the mentally deranged gunman was trying to commit "Suicide- By- Cop" by getting police to kill him. It WAS NOT an Active Shooter Situation (Newtown, Va. Tech, etc.) where a gunman comes in and starts shooting everyone. The gunman can be suicidal in either type situation and often are. 

Source of the Weapon: Authorities are looking to locate the owner of the AK-47, who they believe is an acquaintance of Hill's. Davis said officials believe Hill got the weapon from an acquaintance's house, although he wouldn't say whether the weapon was stolen or not. There was a photo of Hill holding a rifle, found on his cell phone. Hill told investigators he was on medication. "He indicated that he was on medication and had stopped taking it."  

Previous Violent Behaviours:   Tim Hill, the brother of Michael Brandon Hill, said his brother previously threatened to shoot him and suffers from mental disorders and "was bipolar and suffered from ADD," and that the two have not spoken recently. 

  • A Henry County sheriff's official said Hill was also charged in March with making terroristic threats for an incident between Dec. 30 and 31 of 2012. He "unlawfully threatened to commit the crime of murder, a crime of violence, for the purpose of terrorizing another."  Tim Hill told the media the charge stemmed from Hill threatening to shoot him. 
  • Michael Hill was issued a no-contact order afterwards. Court records show that Hill pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years' probation and anger counselling.

Present Violent Incident Charges: For this August 20th act of violence, Hill is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, making terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was questioned for hours by police, but they have no clear idea of what may be a motive or whether Hill has ties to the school. Police chief Alexander said Hill "may have had prior contact" with someone at the school, but the investigation was still pending. No other individuals are expected to be charged.

Recovery Phase Initiated: Buses transported elementary school students from their school to nearby McNair High School on Wednesday to resume classes, a day after a potential massacre was averted. Students were greeted by counsellors and a sign that read, "Welcome McNair Elementary School. Our prayers are with you".  Excerpts taken from Internet article By Elizabeth Chuck, Staff Writer, NBC News

Discussion Points: Being mindful that the incident is new and the investigation is incomplete, here are some things to consider:

  • Hostage Situation vice Active Shooter Situation: The gunman talked instead of just shooting everyone.  He was not (thank God) just trying to kill everyone he saw as fast as he could, or he was convinced otherwise.
  • Typical Suicide By Cop scenario, a mentally deranged individual with violent intent who is suicidal attempts "suicide-by-cop" by creating a situation where police end your life because of the imminent threat you pose. His request to a hostage to call the media & his statement to TV editor about "start filming as cops die".    
  • Response in a Hostage Situation is different than in an Active Shooter Situation. 
    • Hostage situation: if there is no safe escape and you are detained by a gunman, build rapport and empathy with hostage taker so they see you as a person. School Secretary did this and it saved lives. 
    • Active Shooter: A Run - Hide - Fight (similar to ALICE) response is more appropriate if immediate mass shooting occurs. 
  • School Access Control: Having single access point entrance (critical), a locked entrance (good), and a buzzer access control system (good) still requires a trained human being to make a deliberate decision EVERY TIME they buzz anyone in or not. Once a person is buzzed in there needs to be person-to-person (P2P) screening contact as a seemingly innocent person may now (once in the school) demonstrate threatening behaviour (take out a hidden weapon, display aggression, etc.) once inside the school. A nefarious individual may "tailgate" someone buzzed in so be careful. 
    • The P2P screening contact allows the opportunity to alert others (activate 911, announce "lockdown") to trigger an immediate response and possibly mitigate the threat (using your judgement) to regain the initiative against someone planning to do harm. The secretary did this as well by talking to the gunman. 
  • Societal Mechanism to Maintain Visibility of a Threatening Member of a Community. "See Something, Hear Something, Say Something" can help identify a threatening individual and in this instance his brother reported him in March (charges filed, arrest, three years probation  and anger counselling, and medication). However who was tracking this and how could this have been prevented. What is the local areas threat assessment and threat tracking process, if any. How could this mentally deranged individual have been prevented from coming to the school to harm himself or others. This area is the critical vulnerability in preventing mass rampage shooters in our society.

Knowledge is Power and School Preparedness 

is about Preparation, not Paranoia.