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Reply by Pimzedd

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Pimzedd

450 posts in 2462 days


#1 posted 09-16-2012 11:30 PM

stefang, please don’t take this the wrong way, but as a retired shop teacher who currently provides training to “shop teachers” and administrators on how to provide safety instruction to students, I have a few thoughts.

You state ”I don’t know all the details in this instance, but I would tend to blame the teacher anyway. The girl should not have been allowed to use the machine unless she complied with safety rules.” You are correct in that we DON”T know all the details. We hear Mom’s impression and that of a reporter.

As a retired shop teacher of 34 years, I know from experience that the student was most likely not”allowed to use the machine” without following the safety rules. You are correct when you state ”maybe it’s not so easy to keep an eye on all students at once.” When you have a class of students all working in a shop at once, a teacher cannot see every student perform every action every time. Another news account quotes the student as saying she knew to keep her hair tied back. A shop teacher must be ever alert and on the move in the classroom, ever vigilant to unsafe actions, but students are human and it is ultimately up to them to follow the rules that they have been taught.

You write of ”teaching the proper use and maintenance of hand tools” as a alternative to machine instruction. The use of machines can be successfully and safely done at any level from middle to high school. However, the age and maturity of the students MUST be considered when deciding what machines a student will be allowed to operate.

I do have one concern from one of the news stories I read. It said the teacher did not send the student to the school nurse. He allowed her to walk to her next class. I believe that was a serious mistake. A teacher should let a trained health professional make the decision concerning the severity of the injury. It appears that the nurse did not believe the student needed emergency treatment since the student was allowed to remain at school.

Finally, I agree that ”tough safety rules are really a must in a place where serious accidents can happen very fast and without warning”. We don’t know that those rules were not in place in this class. The teacher did have 29 years of experience in teaching such a class. Some teachers are better at teaching a comprehensive and successful safety program that others. However, my experience shows that even the weakest of such teachers are concerned about student safety.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school


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