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  4. Sunday, 18 February 2018
By now, I'm sure most of you have heard about the latest mass shooting in an American school. This time it hit very close to home for me. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is in Parkland, Florida, only 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of my own school, Forest Hill High.(In fact, I once got a phone call asking if I was interested in interviewing for a teaching position there.) I've already starting working on a fan fiction story in which the Supergirl Team has to deal with a school shooting situation in National City.
But what about the TV show? Do you guys think the TV writers ought to take on the uniquely American (unfortunately) issue of school shootings? Or is it too "real world" for a superhero show that is essentially based on a fantasy premise to begin with? (Yes, I know - this isn't "SWAT" or "Law & Order"...)

At any rate, I thought I'd share this letter to America's public-school teachers. For me, it captures exactly how many of us feel today:

https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/a-love-letter-to-teachers-after-yet-another-school-shooting
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If they do, it won't be this season. I'm willing to bet this entire season is already mapped out.

I care about the issue, but I don't know if it's the most appropriate issue for Supergirl to be tackling. I don't have a problem with the show tackling real issues. But it usually takes those issues and portrays them in a fantastical or sci fi scenario. The show itself focuses on a refugee of a dead planet. "Welcome to Earth" and "Medusa" (as well as several others) dealt with immigration, but on interplanetary scale instead of international. "Crossfire" touched on gun control, but with alien firearms. Cadmus has always been a representation of extremist anti-immigrant groups. And "Supergirl Lives" dealt with the horror of human trafficking, but in terms of them being sold as interplanetary slaves.

And dealing with these issues in a fantastical or sci fi scenario just fits this series. But I'm not sure how they could pull that off an episode about school shootings and keep it that way. They'd likely have to take a "realistic" route to it. But when you're protagonist has super powers, it's not easy to do a story like that.

It's also a really dark issue to approach, that doesn't have a clear cut "solution", so it's not an easy issue for the characters, or writers, to approach.

The only scenario I can imagine is them dealing with the AFTERMATH of a school shooting. And yeah, maybe it takes place at Ruby's school. In my opinion, that episode wouldn't be about how to remedy the issue...but rather just to approach how the characters deal with it. How would Kara/Supergirl feel about not making it in time?

This is a dark turn...but another possibility is that Supergirl makes it to the school, but doesn't know what to do. In a scenario like this, the culprit isn't just some evil madman she can punch. It's a child, who, for some unimaginable reason, has gone down this horrendous path. Superpowers can't fix that situation. There is the very real possibility that they could write it in a way that Supergirl talks down the shooter, like she did in season 1's "Human for a Day". But I don't think that would do justice to this issue. These situations, in real life, almost never end like that. It's terrible to say, but I think the more powerful story would be for Supergirl to fail. She may keep the shooter from hurting others, but the shooter maybe ends up taking their own life. And Kara spends the episode coming to terms with the fact that there are some things Supergirl can't fix. Not everything is black and white, good and evil.

It's really hard to imagine the writers and crew doing an episode this dark. It feels like something we'd be more likely to see on Arrow, which has a far more grounded reality, and where the lead character has a child who would be deeply impacted by an issue like this. I actually feel it'd be a fantastic fit for an episode of Arrow.


I can assure you the entire season is mapped out......they have to because of budget.
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The show is a type of fantasy genre but, the setting is very real world. Furthermore, most of the premise of each episode centers around the conflict of man v. man so, as far as it being too real world or political, it already naturally contains those elements.

However, no, I don't think that the writers should specifically address the school shooting or gun debate. Based on past history of writing specific social issues into an episode, I don't think that they're capable of doing it subtly and not making it divisive, so that it elicits a positive discourse on the topic.
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And honestly? We've all been getting along SO SO well on the forum as of late with less politics and just more good fun storytelling on the show. I don't want to go back to any possible fiery, contentious political potshots. :p
Shakes hands:D Could not agree more it's been an extremely pleasant and harmonious oasis in an otherwise crazy internet.
Hope, Help and Compassion for all
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And honestly? We've all been getting along SO SO well on the forum as of late with less politics and just more good fun storytelling on the show. I don't want to go back to any possible fiery, contentious political potshots. :p
Shakes hands:D Could not agree more it's been an extremely pleasant and harmonious oasis in an otherwise crazy internet.


*knuckles...blow it up*
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Short answer: Maybe.

Given that the right to access and ownership of guns is virtually sacred in the U.S., if the show was to tackle the issue it would have to be done in a non-partisan way and avoid finger-pointing politics at all costs.

The issues revolving around psychological illness, lax or non-existent laws, background checks, monitoring domestic threats, and gun culture may be addressed but like the political and social aspects of it, it must be done in a very clever and compassionate way. Hollywood has a hard time doing or addressing this issue because it actively promotes gunplay in films, TV, animation and other media platforms as a means of selling/promoting its products.

Although the issue of mass shootings is baffling and abhorrent in most countries outside of war zones, it is a too common occurrence in the U.S. The sad reality is that small, entrenched interest groups with very deep pockets and iron-clad political ties is calling the shots (figuratively and literally).

Until the general U.S. culture views and disavows such lax gun access, the situation will not change. Shootings will continue and empty thoughts and prayers will be said, but nothing will come of it. The only way drastic change will happen is when U.S. society as a whole changes and rejects the 2nd Amendment as it currently stands and demands and gets long overdue responsible gun ownership laws.

This does not imply that guns will be taken away from anyone, but it does imply that there must be background/psychological checks, heavy restrictions on access to military-style weapons, and a complete and widespread enforcement (at shops, gun shows and online) of strengthened ownership/user licenses.

Remember the old saying: "Violence begets violence." And, until the mass violence tipping point has been reached in the U.S., it will be the same old same old.
"Ain't No Easy Way" - Train, from the CD/LP/Download, AM Gold. (2022)

"Money In The Bag" (Ft. Kiesza), and "Voices Carry" - Lights, from the CD/LP/Download PEP. (2022)

"Burn The Damn Thing Down" - The Black Keys, from the CD/LP/Download, Dropout Boogie. (2022)
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They have already hit upon the 2nd amendment in Season 2, I don't see them taking on school shootings. Glee did it, but since it was about a high school. As for Supergirl, a hostage situation? sure.....but as far as something as specific as school shootings? no....
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I’m gonna have to say no to a school shooting on Supergirl. It’s just not well positioned to tackle this issue. Supergirl is will positioned to tackle immigrants/refugees and women’s issues because the protagonist is all of of those things. IMO the CW show that is best positioned to tackle a school shooting is Riverdale where the main characters are actually students. That way it wouldn't have to be a single episode.
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"Glee did it, but since it was about a high school."

Yes, but Supergirl does have a middle or high-school student character in Ruby.
The way I would envision a school shooting-related story playing out on Supergirl (if it was done) would be a typical Hollywood "saved at the very last second" type of scenario. Maybe Ruby picks up on some clues on a fellow student who is acting strangely (and perhaps also posting weird stuff on social media). She tells other people at her school about this, but nothing is really done. But then she mentions it to Alex, who is clearly alarmed - and the Supergirl Team swings into action. And of course, Supergirl arrives on the scene just as the perpetrator is ready to take the first shot, and puts a stop to it. In any event, that's how I'm planning to write it in my own story.

"Given that the right to access and ownership of guns is virtually sacred in the U.S., if the show was to tackle the issue it would have to be done in a non-partisan way and avoid finger-pointing politics at all costs."

And that is pretty much what I just described...


I don't think they can do this in a non-partisan way.....just don't think they can do it. However, yeah I could see something like that happening with Ruby. But, not right now....too soon.
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If they do, it won't be this season. I'm willing to bet this entire season is already mapped out.

I care about the issue, but I don't know if it's the most appropriate issue for Supergirl to be tackling. I don't have a problem with the show tackling real issues. But it usually takes those issues and portrays them in a fantastical or sci fi scenario. The show itself focuses on a refugee of a dead planet. "Welcome to Earth" and "Medusa" (as well as several others) dealt with immigration, but on interplanetary scale instead of international. "Crossfire" touched on gun control, but with alien firearms. Cadmus has always been a representation of extremist anti-immigrant groups. And "Supergirl Lives" dealt with the horror of human trafficking, but in terms of them being sold as interplanetary slaves.

And dealing with these issues in a fantastical or sci fi scenario just fits this series. But I'm not sure how they could pull that off an episode about school shootings and keep it that way. They'd likely have to take a "realistic" route to it. But when you're protagonist has super powers, it's not easy to do a story like that.

It's also a really dark issue to approach, that doesn't have a clear cut "solution", so it's not an easy issue for the characters, or writers, to approach.

The only scenario I can imagine is them dealing with the AFTERMATH of a school shooting. And yeah, maybe it takes place at Ruby's school. In my opinion, that episode wouldn't be about how to remedy the issue...but rather just to approach how the characters deal with it. How would Kara/Supergirl feel about not making it in time?

This is a dark turn...but another possibility is that Supergirl makes it to the school, but doesn't know what to do. In a scenario like this, the culprit isn't just some evil madman she can punch. It's a child, who, for some unimaginable reason, has gone down this horrendous path. Superpowers can't fix that situation. There is the very real possibility that they could write it in a way that Supergirl talks down the shooter, like she did in season 1's "Human for a Day". But I don't think that would do justice to this issue. These situations, in real life, almost never end like that. It's terrible to say, but I think the more powerful story would be for Supergirl to fail. She may keep the shooter from hurting others, but the shooter maybe ends up taking their own life. And Kara spends the episode coming to terms with the fact that there are some things Supergirl can't fix. Not everything is black and white, good and evil.

It's really hard to imagine the writers and crew doing an episode this dark. It feels like something we'd be more likely to see on Arrow, which has a far more grounded reality, and where the lead character has a child who would be deeply impacted by an issue like this. I actually feel it'd be a fantastic fit for an episode of Arrow.
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could be next seasons midvale episode
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They have already hit upon the 2nd amendment in Season 2, I don't see them taking on school shootings. Glee did it, but since it was about a high school. As for Supergirl, a hostage situation? sure.....but as far as something as specific as school shootings? no....


As a libertarian-conservative, Kelly, i am totally with you on this. The backlash would be too severe.
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They have already hit upon the 2nd amendment in Season 2, I don't see them taking on school shootings. Glee did it, but since it was about a high school. As for Supergirl, a hostage situation? sure.....but as far as something as specific as school shootings? no....


As a libertarian-conservative, Kelly, i am totally with you on this. The backlash would be too severe.


it could be done in a way that the show never discusses gun control. I think a more apt topic would be for Kara to experience regret from hesitating and not springing into action and indirectly resulting in travesty. Allow her to mull over the need to protect her identity. You simply never discuss gun control but simply let the situation allow itself to become a discussion.
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We have a few teachers here so I wanted to ask how your students and fellow teachers are doing. There have been student protests for gun control and I’m hearing about planned student and teacher walkouts. Are your students planning to walkout. What about you and your fellow teachers. What does the administration think of protest walkouts.
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We have a few teachers here so I wanted to ask how your students and fellow teachers are doing. There have been student protests for gun control and I’m hearing about planned student and teacher walkouts. Are your students planning to walkout. What about you and your fellow teachers. What does the administration think of protest walkouts.


The biggest march I know of is coinciding with the groups that plan the "Women's Marches" and most of those are walkouts for 17 minutes, I know of 1 in March, but I believe the biggest one is in April....my students haven't really spoke about it much.

We have gone over our plans for "school lock downs" etc...but we haven't really talked about gun control, the walk outs and such....they don't really seem to want to talk about it. They just wanted to make sure that a plan was in place and everyone, especially the new kids into the class knew what to do.

My kids and I have a plan, we have had it from the start of school, and anytime we have "school lock downs" they know exactly what they are supposed to do.

The doors at our schools are always locked, outside doors as well as classroom doors. My door to my classroom may be open, but all I have to do is close it and it is locked. 1 student puts up the screen that on my door says I'm at lunch, which is normal for me I put it up different times when I need to be left alone or at lunch so that is pretty normal for my door, then 3 other students push shelves and a VERY HEAVY file cabinet to the door and the other students gather everyone's and move out of sight of the door. I stand by the door with my 9 Iron and we are set, it takes about 45 seconds. They know that if the door is breeched we send desks, books, lamps, book bags, everything we can get our hands on at whoever comes through the door.

So, though we haven't talked about the shooting specifically, we definitely know that we have a plan if it ever happens at our school. I have had this plan in place every year since Columbine.
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As I mentioned before, here are some hand-painted cards that the art students at my school (Forest Hill) made for the students and faculty of nearby Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland:
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I said we had a "set plan" in place. Buuuttt....let's be real....pretty sure much of that plan goes out the window when it happens in your hallway.

But, this week...we teachers have started talking "real world" scenarios: "Where are you locking your kids?" "Which wall would be best hidden from the door window?" "Whats the most protected locked closet?" etc etc etc

I actually completely changed my class evacuation route for ANY emergency due to the fact that the Florida shooter pulled the fire alarm to get kids to come out of their rooms. I won't say online WHAT I'm doing, but it did change this week.

P.S....to go back to the original question... for ME...this is not one of the "political issues" a Super Hero show should tackle. If anyone remembers the Glee episode brought up in this thread....if all y'all remember...it turned out NOT to be an actual shooter in the school killing kids. I can't foresee any appropriate story line for Supergirl to come in and save a school from a shooter that wouldn't come across as inappropriate. Buuuuttt...that's just my little ole teacher opinion.

And honestly? We've all been getting along SO SO well on the forum as of late with less politics and just more good fun storytelling on the show. I don't want to go back to any possible fiery, contentious political potshots. :p
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"I can't foresee any appropriate story line for Supergirl to come in and save a school from a shooter that wouldn't come across as inappropriate."

Yes, I tend to agree. The TV show probably shouldn't attempt it. It would very likely come across as political and divisive. I'll just write it myself, the way it would have been done in the 60s and 70s. No politics - just Supergirl showing up (with no advance fanfare) at the very last second and saving the day....

P.S. - Remember the Mighty Mouse theme: "We're not worried - not at all...We're just waiting for this call: "Here I come to save the day...."
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"Glee did it, but since it was about a high school."

Yes, but Supergirl does have a middle or high-school student character in Ruby.
The way I would envision a school shooting-related story playing out on Supergirl (if it was done) would be a typical Hollywood "saved at the very last second" type of scenario. Maybe Ruby picks up on some clues on a fellow student who is acting strangely (and perhaps also posting weird stuff on social media). She tells other people at her school about this, but nothing is really done. But then she mentions it to Alex, who is clearly alarmed - and the Supergirl Team swings into action. And of course, Supergirl arrives on the scene just as the perpetrator is ready to take the first shot, and puts a stop to it. In any event, that's how I'm planning to write it in my own story.

"Given that the right to access and ownership of guns is virtually sacred in the U.S., if the show was to tackle the issue it would have to be done in a non-partisan way and avoid finger-pointing politics at all costs."

And that is pretty much what I just described...
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"And dealing with these issues in a fantastical or sci fi scenario just fits this series. But I'm not sure how they could pull that off an episode about school shootings and keep it that way. They'd likely have to take a "realistic" route to it. But when you're protagonist has super powers, it's not easy to do a story like that."

Well, they could make it a story set in a school of some sort on another planet. And instead of guns, it could be a biological weapon (or something like that).If the planet did not have a yellow sun, then Kara would not have superpowers. Not sure if I like that idea though. Just "thinking out loud"...)

"Based on past history of writing specific social issues into an episode, I don't think that they're capable of doing it subtly and not making it divisive, so that it elicits a positive discourse on the topic. "

Unfortunately, I tend to agree..... (And they already touched on the gun debate in the Crossfire episode, but not too subtly.)

As I said, I'm going to run with this idea myself, and am writing a fan fiction story using a school shooting (but in an apolitical manner). I'll be introducing Sam and Ruby into my cast of characters, too. (But not Reign - she's too dark for a series based on the Silver Age Supergirl persona.) Of course, Supergirl will "save the day" at the end, too - as the original Silver Age Supergirl always did.
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We have a few teachers here so I wanted to ask how your students and fellow teachers are doing. There have been student protests for gun control and I’m hearing about planned student and teacher walkouts. Are your students planning to walkout. What about you and your fellow teachers. What does the administration think of protest walkouts.


I haven't heard anything about any planned walkouts at my school in West Palm Beach. But there have been quite a few shows of support and solidarity with the students and teachers at nearby Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland. Both our art students and teacher and our athletic teams have already done that.
We do have a system using color codes and a "secret password" to inform students and teachers of any emergency situation. An active shooter on campus would be a "code red". We would then lock the doors from the outside, cover any windows to the hallway (from the inside), and turn off all lights. Then we would move out of any line of sight from the windows, so that a potential shooter couldn't see us. (The idea is to make them think the room is empty. )If we heard the "secret password", indicating that this was "the real thing" and not a drill, I would move as many students as possible into the storage area behind my science lab room, and lock the door to it. We have already had quite a number of drills of our emergency "color code" system, so the students know what to do. It appears that many teachers followed procedures like this at Stoneman Douglas High last week, and lives were undoubtedly saved as a result.
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