“Teachers & other duties as assigned!” What exactly would this mean when it comes to an active shooter?


Teachers serve a multitude of roles in their daily duties as instructional guides for their students.  To add the graven task of being armed in the classroom would be a catastrophic calamity!

Here are some valid points to consider:

Students spend over ½ of their childhood and teenage years being nurtured and guided by their teachers.

Teachers are responsible for implementing and teaching the curriculum, along with managing their classroom.

Teachers are humans and could have their own mental health issue and/ or dysfunctional relationships.

A student might have mental health challenges or have parents/siblings/ or other relatives with these issues, as well as the potential for domestic difficulties at home.

Home and environmental issues have been known to enter the classroom, if teachers are singled out as having a weapon in the classroom, the volatile person might enter this area first.

Student bullying is paramount as well as gangs within some schools, students with knowledge of a gun on a teacher might overpower that person.

Classrooms are full of awkward tables, desks, chairs, and other instructional tools making it a congested area.

During an active shooting, the students will need to be assembled and having to accomplish this task as well as engage in disarming the violator would be overwhelming.

Given any of the above scenarios, a gun inside the classroom would be a receipt for disaster.  Students should not be preoccupied with determining which instructor has a weapon inside their classroom.  Would it be possible for this weapon to get in the wrong hands, misfires, and inadvertently hit a student?

Allowing a teacher to have a gun inside the classroom is fundamentally wrong and goes against the grain of their expected role.  Students would be equally traumatized if any of their teachers had to engage in an active shooting within the classroom.  Let the teachers focus on their current teaching duties and responsibilities.  Alternative methods to handle violence and classroom shootings should be explored; this is not a viable option.  Ultimately, arming teachers is not a good resolution.

Who knew the wonders of that little blue pill?


I always frowned upon hearing that someone had the desire to use a pill to stimulate their sexual desires.  I wondered why this wasn’t just a natural instinct or if the person had tried any visual imagery to improve their sexual drive?

Seven years ago, I learned that one of my relatives had expired after taking this ‘blue pill’ along with their phenobarbital.  It is likely that one physician did not know what the other one had prescribed. Today with the advances in technology, medication regimens, and cross-interactions are now being addressed and prevented.  Given that I had loss a relative to the potential interventions from this inconsequential drug, I was less inclined to see any benefits.

That was until the summer of 2015 when I was faced with the administrative and medical decisions for another relative, with 4th stage congestive heart failure.  I had been told to prepare for the worse and that became a quick reality when they were bed-ridden and unable to physically do anything. The physical therapy program had terminated their services because they were unable to get my relative mobile.  Plans for hospice discharge where taking place and the treatment team had ultimately came to their conclusion.  I began a quest for information, searching for something that could turn this around, our family had already loss so many relatives to heart disease, cancer, and strokes.

Here’s what I learned, the treatment team had placed my relative on Milrinone and they had this drip in their arm for over two weeks, keeping them in a near catatonic state.  During my independent searches, it became apparent that this drug should only be administered for 48 to 72 hours.  I insisted on a consultation and advocated for the removal of this comatose drug.  This is when Dr. Kelly McCants joined the panel and informed me that we could try another method that might provide my loved one with a little more time.  By the way, my loved one had been given 2 weeks and no more than 2 months.  I’m grateful that Dr. McCants was willing to introduce the blue pill to assist and stimulate my relative’s heart condition.  I wanted to share this experience and encourage caregivers and families to remain vigilant in seeking the best options for their loved ones.  In a few months (June 2018, we will be at (3) years of life) after a terminal diagnosis and being placed on the Hospice list, it wasn’t their time.  Thanks again to Dr. McCants, he has relocated his practice to another state, however, the blue pill still reigns as the prescriptive for providing my loved one with a new lease on life.

P.S. We are now able to go on long walks and even complete (2) levels of mall shopping and other errands with a few breaks, so it was really a life-changing event.

Palliative vs. Hospice


Hospice and Palliative services have been commonly intertwined, once we receive the news that something is seriously wrong with our loved ones.  These terms are often used interchangeably but either could reflect a significant turn of events for your loved one.  Let’s make some distinctions between these two terms.

Hospice is usually stated when treatment and interventions have ended.  Most of us are more familiar with the ‘Hospice,’ term as it references the final stages of life.  Thus, the health and treatment team have concluded that your relative is nearing the end phases of life and appears to be failing to thrive.  Of course, the word thrive can have many interpretations, including will-power, interest, and it is likely that their vital organs are beginning to shut down.

Palliative care is centered on offering your loved one a quality support system at their advanced stages of a medical condition.  When a person is listed under the care of palliative, it means that treatment and interventions are still in place, thus it is possible that the medical condition can subside or go into complete remission.  Palliative can symbolize a poor prognosis for our loved ones, however; there can be some hope for improvement.

Caregivers and family members are often full of questions and hope for some helpful answers, divine intervention, and resolve. Though miracles do happen, when the care team begins to use either of these terms, it is time to prepare support for you, family members, and your loved one.  A turnaround in health complications can happen and result in a significant turn of events.  You may find yourself asking what’s next and also experiencing feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, and fear.

This would be a very important time to seek support from other family members; external resources may be available within the local treatment and mental health centers.  It is imperative that you take care of yourself and maintain some degree of self-preservation?  Kubler- Ross, discussed (5) stages of death and relatives that are key caregivers are likely to experience some of these same emotions, denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and coming to terms.  It is also helpful to know that these emotions can vacillate and may not appear in any given order.  Relatives are often unable to cope and recognize that their mental and physical health needs should not be neglected during this distressing period.