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Teaching After Witnessing a School Shooting

Echoes of Gunfire

Edward Mooney, Jr.

Imagine the hours and weeks after you've witnessed a school shooting. You run the emotional gamut between disorientation and severe anxiety. When you return to the classroom, you're unsure how to cope. Your classroom used to be a safe space; is it still? In this book, the experience of two teachers before, during and after they witnessed school shootings are analyzed to determine the effects of these incidents on their lives. In one case, a teacher who observed a shooting of one student by another, struggled with severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her issues, along with actions by school administration, led to her psychological disability. In the second case, at a different school, another teacher watched a gunman randomly firing at students; he was able to continue teaching. A comparison helps to understand the psychological and organizational factors that affect educators who witnessed a school shooting.

This book would be critical in courses training school administrators, and for those teaching graduate research courses. In addition, this would be useful for mental health professionals and emergency responders seeking to get a glimpse into what teachers who witness school shootings are going through.

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Chapter 25. Opportunities for Other Research



“We have so much work to do, it sounds like,” Janice said.

“You’re right,” I responded.

“But what about you? Have you figured out everything about school shootings and how they affect teachers?”

“Oh, my, no. Sadly, the more I dug into this, the more I realized there was a lot to understand.”

“Like what?” Janice asked.

An Answer

Opportunities for Further Research

Five opportunities for additional research, and one institute, arose from the completion of this study. These include the development of an Educator Trauma Recovery Index Model (Ed-TRIM), the design of an Educator Career Intervention System (ECIS), a repetition of the methodology of this study with other participants who have dealt with school shootings, a repetition of this study after more than a decade, looking for long-term implications, and an over-arching project comparing the various participants of all of the studies. The institute, tentatively labeled “iVAST” – The Institute for the Study of Violence and School Teachers, is a concept surrounding the development of a research team based at a university that would focus on the study of violence and teachers.

A Proposed Educator Trauma Recovery Index Model

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