From voices in the field, Dress Rehearsals for Gun Violence: Confronting Trauma and Anxiety in America’s Schools considers how damaging fear and anxiety are for those who are in our schools every day in the United States and living with both the ever present threat of a school shooting and the continuous preparations for one. This book examines those impacted directly including not just students and teachers, but preservice teachers considering teaching as a profession, college professors, support staff, and librarians. This follow up book to A Relentless Threat: Scholars Respond to Teens on Weaponized School Violence, goes in depth into the human cost of violence by exploring the fear of potential violence in our schools and what may be done to lessen that trauma and anxiety. This book includes discussion on the very real impact of false alarms, the trauma and anxiety experienced by teachers, the risks and benefits of armed shooter training, the unique challenges of non-classroom spaces, using young adult literature as a tool for processing emotions with students, and the importance of teaching critical reading skills for evaluating how school shootings are portrayed in the media.
Kjersti VanSlyke-Briggs is professor of secondary education and educational technologies at the State University of New York, Oneonta.
Elizabeth A. Bloom is professor of education and chair of the Education Program at Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY.
They are the editors of Resisting Reform: Reclaiming Public Education through Grassroots Activism.
Foreword: Raising Generation Mass Shooting
Chapter 2. Pearl Clutching and The Normalization of School Shootings in Young Adult Literature
Kjersti VanSlyke-Briggs, Sarah Rhodes, and Jenna Turner
Chapter 3. We Should All Care: Preservice Teachers’ Perspectives on Gun Control
Chapter 4. Teacher Trauma in the Age of School Violence
Chapter 5. School Ecosystems: Including Librarians in a Proactive Approach to Addressing School Shootings
As a companion to their edited volume A Relentless Threat, this collection from editors VanSlyke-Briggs and Bloom once again calls attention to the voices of those who have been living with the psychological and physiological wounds consequent to school-related violence. Dress Rehearsal for Gun Violence invites readers to look more deeply into the emotionally vulnerable space in which an individual’s covert responses to episodes of school shooting are often overlooked or disregarded. Each chapter serves as a platform to showcase a diverse range of trauma and demonstrates how the different responses to violence manifest uniquely across individuals who share similarly life-altering experiences. The contributors' voices reveal narratives filled with raw emotions that transcend a sense of urgency in recognizing the hidden and blatant triggers associated with the trauma of gun violence. This book should become a permanent reference in libraries serving scholars, practitioners, and families in search of a profound understanding of the ripple effects of school violence. Highly recommended. All levels.
It is deeply disturbing what the United States, in the name of Second Amendment gun rights, is doing to our children. It is as if children have no rights. Part of what makes this book special is that the editors were able to include contributions from educators, psychologists, sociologists, and policy makers who responded to questions raised by middle school and high school students about gun violence. We can only hope the book influences government officials to hear the cry of the children.
VanSlyke-Briggs and Bloom’s edited book amplifies the voices of educators interrogating their experiences with, and responses to, the constant threat of gun violence in our nation’s schools. Through solidly researched and personally reflective chapters, teachers, teacher educators, and librarians highlight the human costs when a country is willing to accept the trauma and anxiety caused by school gun violence. This book’s consideration of ways to address gun violence with students and teachers is both honest and clear. Dress Rehearsals for Gun Violence: Confronting Trauma and Anxiety in America’s Schools is a compelling read for educators and non-educators alike.