With fundraising ongoing for Memorial to Fallen Educators, NTHF mulls position statement on school safety Featured

With fundraising ongoing for Memorial to Fallen Educators, NTHF mulls position statement on school safety KVOE News file photo

Fundraising continues to expand the National Memorial to Fallen Educators at Emporia State University.


Much of KVOE's Talk of Emporia on Wednesday was dedicated to the memorial, which was rededicated in June as part of the National Teachers Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and now honors almost 130 teachers, administrators and support staffers from throughout our nation's history. National Teachers Hall of Fame Director Carol Strickland says the final price tag is around $40,000.

Earlier this summer, the memorial received significant checks from American Fidelity Assurance Company, the National Education Association and Clint Bowyer 79 Fund to finalize the down payment. One rather unique fundraising method is starting to take off.

While the National Teachers Hall of Fame continues raising funds, it is also considering a position statement on school violence -- by far and away the leading reason teachers and staff are honored on the memorial. Board of Trustees President Ken Weaver says a recent study pointed out the impact of school violence in sobering detail.

 

Strickland says it's a tough balancing act in creating a nonpolitical position statement.

 

Weaver says the finished product will cover all forms of school safety.

As work continues in fundraising, the memorial will also have to add at least one more name when the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremonies take place in June 2019. Angel Hayes was killed while on crosswalk duty earlier this month in Neosho, Mo.

For more information or to donate, call the National Teachers Hall of Fame at 341-5660 or go online to www.nthf.org. Mail donations to 1 Kellogg Circle, Campus Box 4017, Emporia KS ZIP 66801.

National Teachers Hall of Fame study: Using Fallen Educators' Cause of Death to Inform School Safety Guidelines

Rationale

If the schools keep the educators safe, then the schools are keeping the students safe. By examining the causes of death for the 129 educators memorialized on the Memorial to Fallen Educators, we can develop guidelines that would prevent those causes of death and will keep our schools safe. 

Methodology

At https://nthfmemorial.org/fallen-educators/ is the list of the fallen educators along with their states and the years they died. This information was cut and pasted into an excel file which allowed the data to be manipulated to identify the number of fallen educators by state (see Appendix A) and the number of fallen educators by decade (see Appendix B).

The fallen educators’ names are hyperlinked so that if one clicks on the name, a new webpage opens with personal information and description of the event that resulted in the educator’s death.  The number of fallen educators by cause of death is in Appendix C.

Results

As of the 2018 rededication of the memorial in June of this year, there were 129 educators on the Memorial to Fallen Educators.  Of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, 13 states do not have a fallen educator (see Appendix A for the data): Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming.  The six states with the most incidents represented on the Memorial are Texas (16), New Jersey (10), California (8), Florida, (8), Connecticut (7), and Minnesota (7).

The graph of the data for the number of fallen educators by decades (see Appendix B for the data) shows a negatively skewed distribution where the number of fallen educators has dramatically increased in the last three decades:

Enoch Brown is the oldest name on the memorial, dying in 1764. In the 254 years spanned by the memorial, 64% (83 of 129) of the deaths have occurred in the last 28 years. 

73% (n = 94) of the 129 educator deaths resulted from violence against educators. Seventy-Two deaths (56%) resulted from shootings.  Stabbings accounted for nine deaths, and blunt force trauma accounted for five deaths.

Sixteen educators died in explosions in three schools: three in an intentional explosion (Bath Area School in Michigan in 1927), an additional two in an intentional explosion (Edgar Allen Poe Elementary School in 1959) and nine accidentally (New London School in Texas in 1937, caused by leaking natural gas), and two accidentally (Minnehaha Academy in Minnesota in 2018). Fourteen died from vehicle accidents including three in the 9/11 crash of the hijacked plane that crashed into the Pentagon. Four died from fire, including three nuns at a Catholic school in Chicago, and three were electrocuted accidentally.

The graph of the data for the number of fallen educators by cause of death (see Appendix C for the data) appears below:

 

 

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