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Statistics on childhood dangers


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Just now, wintermom said:

Look for "injury prevention" information instead of "childhood dangers."  "Dangers" is not the term that will give you what you are looking for.

Search google scholar if regular google isn't helpful.

I've never heard of Google Scholar before. Thanks! I'll try prevention instead of danger.

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19 minutes ago, Pen said:

Google scholar is often a big help!

 

(is anyone but me wanting to know what school board wants to do?!?!🙃)

Our middle school os connected to the building that houses our community gym, police station, and public library. For the last 16 years our MS and library have had an agreement to share the library. So, it is the public library and school library. 

There are parents who are now concerned that their kids will be unsafe if they are allowed to leave the locked down MS and go to the library. They do not have to go outside since the buildings are connected. 

If the school pulls their funding it will hurt our public library. It will also hurt the MS because they will not be able to fund a library that will be as good as the one they now have. I feel like decisions are not being made logically in this case. 

They have no intention of stopping field trips. They don't care about the kids' safety before or after school.

A lot of these parents let their kids roam this building during non school hours.

I'm on our library's Friends board so I might be more frustrated than many people. 

Maybe I need to go emotional instead of numbers.

 

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9 minutes ago, SquirrellyMama said:

Our middle school os connected to the building that houses our community gym, police station, and public library. For the last 16 years our MS and library have had an agreement to share the library. So, it is the public library and school library. 

There are parents who are now concerned that their kids will be unsafe if they are allowed to leave the locked down MS and go to the library. They do not have to go outside since the buildings are connected. 

If the school pulls their funding it will hurt our public library. It will also hurt the MS because they will not be able to fund a library that will be as good as the one they now have. I feel like decisions are not being made logically in this case. 

They have no intention of stopping field trips. They don't care about the kids' safety before or after school.

A lot of these parents let their kids roam this building during non school hours.

I'm on our library's Friends board so I might be more frustrated than many people. 

Maybe I need to go emotional instead of numbers.

 

That's an incredibly unique situation.  

I think numbers are important.  I am struggling to imagine what people think is unsafe about letting middle schoolers walk into the public library during during school hours.  ESPECIALLY given that the police station is in the same building.  Have there been incidents in the past because of the unique arrangement?

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1 minute ago, happysmileylady said:

That's an incredibly unique situation.  

I think numbers are important.  I am struggling to imagine what people think is unsafe about letting middle schoolers walk into the public library during during school hours.  ESPECIALLY given that the police station is in the same building.  Have there been incidents in the past because of the unique arrangement?

No incidents in the 16 years of the agreement. We are a small town so our library is not big. It is not easy to hide, it is all one level. There are cameras that show every angle. 

I think some people are just afraid of the world, and think we can really prevent all bad things with enough locks. 

The superintendent isn't really concrrned with safety, but is not forthcoming about his real intentions. He's always trying to cut costs, but this really won't do that. They have to hire a school librarian. They'll have to provide a space for the homeschooling assistance program which us now housed at the library.

It is just frustrating.

 

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1 minute ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Is it a sizable number of parents holding the safety concern or just a vocal few? 

One parent went to the school board a few weeks ago about her concerns, now more are speaking out, but it seems more parents are for keeping the agreement.

The same parent went to the school board at the beginning of the year to voice her concerns about the construction workers that are working on the building remodel. 

She didn't get any satisfaction there because the school made sure the kids were not around the remodel and all workers had background checks done. Not that a background check is perfect.

 

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2 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

If you want to go for full out dramatic effect, it can probably be argued that libraries are safer than schools. 

I've thought about saying that their kids are in more danger from other students than library patrons. They are in more danger at the extended family's Thankagiving dinner than the library.

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You said the school is locked down, I am assuming that means that the school is locked off from the public portion of the building and that students or teachers going to use the library have to be buzzed in?  If that's the case, then I would think the only "safety" concern about having 11 to 14 yr olds in the *public* library (vs within the school library) is that they are worried that someone could...kidnap the kids I guess?  Or are they worried that the kids will use the access to the public building to sneak away from campus?  (I have a niece that TOTALLY would have done that)

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23 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

You said the school is locked down, I am assuming that means that the school is locked off from the public portion of the building and that students or teachers going to use the library have to be buzzed in?  If that's the case, then I would think the only "safety" concern about having 11 to 14 yr olds in the *public* library (vs within the school library) is that they are worried that someone could...kidnap the kids I guess?  Or are they worried that the kids will use the access to the public building to sneak away from campus?  (I have a niece that TOTALLY would have done that)

The main concern is kidnapping or as one guy said, "Some random person having a weird conversation with my kid at the computer."

ETA: the computers are close to the circulation desk, maybe 6 feet from it. And, kids are not allowed to play on the computers during the school day. They can use them for looking up books, but I think most probably use their phone. And, the librarian can assign the kid a computer 3 away from the random person.

Maybe a tracker the kids have to take with them would help...

Edited by SquirrellyMama
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2 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Sadly, they're probably statistically more likely to have a teacher initiate an inappropriate relationship with them at the school than be kidnapped at the public library, but guessing the school board wouldn't be thrilled with that observation either...........

People who wish to speak at the school board meeting get 4 minutes. I have thought about rattling off  the things that are more dangerous than the library during my 4 minutes 🙂  The above is one of them. 

ETA- people speaking get 1 minute, not 4.

Edited by SquirrellyMama
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17 minutes ago, SquirrellyMama said:

The main concern is kidnapping or as one guy said, "Some random person having a weird conversation with my kid at the computer."

Maybe a tracker the kids have to take with them would help...

Are the kids not using the library as part of a class session?  I can't recall in middle school having access to the library just randomly, it was always as part of a class period, like social studies research, etc.  Even in high school, the only times we went to the library when not part of a class thing were during study hall....if we had one.  And we had to have special passes.  

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There could be kids where there are specific concerns about kidnapping — DV family situations, for example—and where it isn’t appropriate to have to talk about that in public forums. 

It seems like  that or other concerns could be solved by parents signing permission slips and not holding school responsible if anything happens in library for any parents like you who don’t  mind their children going to the library.  (And /or any parents who object to it could sign to not allow their kids to go.  ) 

Like for a field trip. 

Are there other dangers/worries (like weapons or drugs) the kids themselves might have that aren’t being spoken of aloud? 

 

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I think I would go over the facts that visiting the library carries the same risks as visiting any place else. And then focus on the dollars, and the impracticalities. Perhaps even the possibility of extending/adjusting the library’s hours, so, say, the first two hours of the school day, the library would be closed to the public.

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2 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

Are the kids not using the library as part of a class session?  I can't recall in middle school having access to the library just randomly, it was always as part of a class period, like social studies research, etc.  Even in high school, the only times we went to the library when not part of a class thing were during study hall....if we had one.  And we had to have special passes.  

 

I went to the library during middle school for lunch. Always me, often two other kids who also were bullied and didn't want to be anywhere near the lunchroom ever.

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Can you call up the police department or email them and ask if they have had any problems with crime, stalking, etc at the library? If not, maybe presenting that the police think it is a safe space for the kids would help?

Or even ask how many calls they get to the school for assault/violence towards a child versus the library?

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5 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

 

I went to the library during middle school for lunch. Always me, often two other kids who also were bullied and didn't want to be anywhere near the lunchroom ever.

 

My son can get a pass from a teacher to go to the library during class. (after schoolwork is completed)

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I think you would do well to assume some specific and logical risks, for example, foster parents concerned about abduction by dangerous people in family of origin, or DV survivor concerned about abduction by DV parent.  Or kids vaping in bathrooms—a big current middle school issue in many places.  Or kids bullying other kids without anyone to intervene...   things like that... you might think ofbothers...  And talk about how the library situation can be made safe for those types of concerns. 

 

I personally,  as a former foster mom with situations where abduction was a real risk, but where details needed to be confidential,  would not have found general statistics about library safety to be at all helpful.  

Edited by Pen
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13 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

 

My son can get a pass from a teacher to go to the library during class. (after schoolwork is completed)

If the school is allowing this sort of thing, perhaps the answer is just to stop this sort of practice, rather than cutting the school off from the library.  Or, perhaps some sort of tracker system as the OP mentioned.  Maybe these sorts of visits are timed and students have to be back within X number of minutes or something.  Or maybe some sort of "buzz in/buzz out" sort of system for anyone getting into the library.  If you station the librarian at the public entrance, it shouldn't be too hard to implement.  Even just sign in/sign out.

I suppose such a thing wouldn't prevent creepers from talking to a kid at the computer or something.  But, limiting library visits to class things supervised by a teacher probably would.  

 

Truthfully, that doesn't mean I think such a thing should be NEEDED, because like we all said, kids really aren't at much risk just hanging out in the library.  But something like that might be a compromise that still keeps the special relationship active, and pacifies the parent who is overly concerned.  

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Or a compromise of establishing a Not Allowed In Library During School list.  The list would be short.  Anyone not on the list, doesn't get a library pass.  The complainer's kids could be automatically put on the list.  Then people could request their kids be added or removed from the list.  My parents would have used adding me to the list as an effective punishment. 

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37 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Can you call up the police department or email them and ask if they have had any problems with crime, stalking, etc at the library? If not, maybe presenting that the police think it is a safe space for the kids would help?

Or even ask how many calls they get to the school for assault/violence towards a child versus the library?

The police department, which is in the same building, has offered more security which was turned down by the school. It is maddening!

Kelly

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In the past, kids were allowed in groups and sometimes by themselves with a teacher's permission to go get books from the library. Right now, an entire class must go up with a teacher. 

I did find out this lady's concerns. She is afraid her 12 year old son will be grabbed and raped in a bathroom or grabbed and taken out of the building. It is unlikely that a random person will grab a kid, and even more unlikely that they will grab a 12 year old boy.

Kelly

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4 hours ago, SquirrellyMama said:

Our middle school os connected to the building that houses our community gym, police station, and public library. For the last 16 years our MS and library have had an agreement to share the library. So, it is the public library and school library. 

There are parents who are now concerned that their kids will be unsafe if they are allowed to leave the locked down MS and go to the library. They do not have to go outside since the buildings are connected. 

If the school pulls their funding it will hurt our public library. It will also hurt the MS because they will not be able to fund a library that will be as good as the one they now have. I feel like decisions are not being made logically in this case. 

They have no intention of stopping field trips. They don't care about the kids' safety before or after school.

A lot of these parents let their kids roam this building during non school hours.

I'm on our library's Friends board so I might be more frustrated than many people. 

Maybe I need to go emotional instead of numbers.

 

What do you mean by a locked down MS? Is the Middle School in a constant state of "locked down" or is this a special term for just your school?

Perhaps there is a police educational officer who can come in for a parent meeting and do a presentation about the likelihood of the situations your parents are concerned about? Along with the "stats" these parents (well, all parents) can have their fears calmed down with accurate information about how to live a life that is not in constant fear. Being aware of possible dangers is good, but being afraid of every possible bad thing is a drain on mental health.

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36 minutes ago, SquirrellyMama said:

In the past, kids were allowed in groups and sometimes by themselves with a teacher's permission to go get books from the library. Right now, an entire class must go up with a teacher. 

I did find out this lady's concerns. She is afraid her 12 year old son will be grabbed and raped in a bathroom or grabbed and taken out of the building. It is unlikely that a random person will grab a kid, and even more unlikely that they will grab a 12 year old boy.

Kelly

Her fear is unsupported by facts, and her fear, BECAUSE it's unsupported by facts,  should not dictate whether or not OTHER children at the school are allowed at the library.  I think a "not allowed to go to the library " list is a great solution.  It would be easy to distribute and kids on the list could still be allowed to go with a supervising teacher, but that way none of the other kids have to be parenting by a paranoid person not related to them.  

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1 hour ago, SquirrellyMama said:

The term lock down is being used to mean that all doors are locked to people coming in, they must be buzzed in through the office doors. 

Kelly

I wondered, because in my city "lockdown" means that all classroom doors are locked, students and teachers stay inside, turn off lights, and essentially hide from an attacker. 

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9 minutes ago, SquirrellyMama said:

I agree, I was surprised by the term used also. 

Kelly

Is there a "language" of fear from the administration down? If so, no wonder some parents are starting to panic.

Here, the front doors of elementary schools are locked and visitors buzz in via an intercom. Easy peasy, no need to call this "lockdown."

Edited by wintermom
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5 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

Are the kids not using the library as part of a class session?  I can't recall in middle school having access to the library just randomly, it was always as part of a class period, like social studies research, etc.  Even in high school, the only times we went to the library when not part of a class thing were during study hall....if we had one.  And we had to have special passes.  

I hung out in the library a lot; study hall, lunch period, after school. No passes involved.

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37 minutes ago, wintermom said:

I wondered, because in my city "lockdown" means that all classroom doors are locked, students and teachers stay inside, turn off lights, and essentially hide from an attacker. 

 

26 minutes ago, wintermom said:

Is there a "language" of fear from the administration down? If so, no wonder some parents are starting to panic.

Here, the front doors of elementary schools are locked and visitors buzz in via an intercom. Easy peasy, no need to call this "lockdown."

It's more likely a holdover term from a time when locked down did not have its current meaning. We used to say a campus was locked, locked down, or closed if students weren't allowed to leave, and open if they were. It didn't even mean that the front doors were locked or that visitors had to buzz in or sign in. 

As recently as 2012, I could still walk onto most local campuses with no problem whatsoever. You were supposed to go to the office first and sign in, but the doors to the various buildings weren't locked and people rarely even directed you to the office if you had a ready explanation for being there. And there are middle and high schools with open campuses for students; depending on the school, that might mean they can leave for specified reasons, or it might mean they can leave any time they are not in class (lunch, free period). 

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our local library tends to be a hangout place for a couple of homeless people.  If there’s something like that going on at your school that could be an issue.  (Nothing against homeless people but I have a reason to know that it’s not absolutely safe actually what you described happening basically did happen though not to a 12 year old kid but a mentally ill person)  Otherwise yeah, it seems ridiculous and I’m pretty much a helicopter parent

Edited by Ausmumof3
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Does your library have free access to computers and internet? I've heard well-informed Americans state that this is a draw for individuals who want to access porn, etc. So, ya, parents could have a valid reason for not wanting their minor children access to the computers, unrestricted internet access, as well as others doing similar. 

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This is a middle school?

I would find it difficult to be very civil about this fear, kids that age generally are allowed to go to the library alone anyway.  And here they can go off school grounds if they want to and many walk to school.  Our local library is inundated with middle schoolers during the lunch hour and it's across the road from the school.

There is nothing special about school hours that make them more dangerous.

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9 hours ago, SquirrellyMama said:

People who wish to speak at the school board meeting get 4 minutes. I have thought about rattling off  the things that are more dangerous than the library during my 4 minutes 🙂  The above is one of them. 

ETA- people speaking get 1 minute, not 4.

Make a poster sized chart with bar graphs with numbers!!  Talk about the top two and hold/prop up your chart, takes less than a minute, people will stare at your chart....

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1 hour ago, Eliana said:

People without homes are no more of a risk than people with homes.  

I knew I would upset someone by saying this

I don’t know how else to say our library is a place I love during the day but don’t feel overly safe at at night and wouldn’t send my kids there alone.

5 years ago this wouldn’t be a problem.  However I have definitely seen behaviours that have me slightly concerned.

Edited by Ausmumof3
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7 hours ago, Eliana said:

Yes, there are cases where a person who lives unsheltered has assaulted someone.  My point was that someone's housing situation tells us nothing about how safe or unsafe they are to be around.  

I do understand that having someone close to us experience something makes those circumstances feel more real and urgent and dangerous, but it doesn't make them factually more dangerous.  

People without homes aren't fundamentally different from anyone else - they are as varied as those of us who are housed, with the same range qualities and challenges.

 

I would basically agree with this, but I would also say that this is an overall picture.  There are different types of homelessness, and some are associated with problems that tend to cause the people around them more concern - mainly addiction and some kinds of mental illness. That group has quite different characteristics than a great many homeless people who have different reasons for finding themselves in that situation.  

I used to live in, and still attend church, in an area with a higher than average proportion of those people, because shelters and soup kitchens are clustered there, including one in my church.  You do get more anti-social behaviour than normal because of some of the problems that have contributed to that particular type of homelessness also lead to those behaviours - if not planned carefully for example it's not unusual to have shoving matches in the soup kitchen line.  It's not most of the people there, by any means, but it's also not what most of us would expect to see on a regular basis waiting in line for food - I don't think I've ever seen it in any other setting, but they need to plan for it.  

Even if its not all the time, or most people, that can make a situation seem unreliable, especially in terms of sending your kids there when there would be no one around to help them. It might be what's going on in the post you responded to.

It doesn't sound though like it's remotely what's going on in the OPs situation.

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