Archive for October 18th 2018

Dead Kids was a boringly botched season opening episode for South Park. Spoiler alert - this was a shoddy episode even with ubiquitous  information to grow plots. Safety Expert David Perrodin reviews the much-anticipated, taboo-soaked topic of school shootings relative to how the narrative was approached by a generational stalwart animated, edgy comedy show that had fearlessly taken on Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, politicians of every stripe and self-important celebrities. WHAT WENT WRONG? So how did writers Trek Parker and Matt Stone completely fumble away the obvious storylines? “I’m not advocating for the show or condoning humor as a conduit to a discussion about school safety,” remarked Perrodin. “But, South Park’s an established player in black satire and had an opportunity to expose the thick, swampy rhetoric around school shootings and the nearly $3 billion school safety industry - and this episode wasn’t controversial, accurate or even interesting. It didn’t seem that the writers dodged the key themes as much as they weren’t informed of them,” added Perrodin. PARKER AND STONE’S BIZARRE APPROACH. The writers chose to stick with surface level psychology and the axle for the episode was the worn premise that the emotional / hormonal response from Sharon (Stan’s mom) was the sole driving force for “change” when it is known beyond a doubt that moms, dads and students equally emerge as outspoken champions of change for school safety. The episode was on the mark that nobody has a solid plan to actually decrease school violence. CARTMAN COULD HAVE SHINED, BUT HE INSTEAD WAS CAST AS A CREEPY RACIST. The episode began with Cartman being frustrated that he had failed a test, despite the fact that he cheated on Token, who received an “A.” Cartman quickly noticed that Token had erased his initial answers, purposefully causing him to fail. As Cartman often does, he turned this small issue into something much bigger, and he believed that it was all a race-related cover-up. He believed that Token wanted him to fail the test because there were "rumors" floating around that Cartman hated Black Panther. I suppose an interesting subplot, but it had not place in this episode.

FUNDAMENTAL FLAWS WITH THE STORYLINE.

  1. School shootings don’t repeat at a school. Yet, there were seemingly weekly shootings at South Park Elementary.  
  2. There is always a strong push for fortification following a school shooting, such as more cameras and metal detectors - yet none of this was included in the episode.
  3. Hundreds of police respond to school shootings and the response ends up overwhelming the scene.

WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE DIFFERENTLY.

  1. Replace the Black Panther companion story with Cartman seizing the opportunity to feverishly lead a charge for changes in laws to promote school safety - and then have his reasons be for personal gain, as follows suit with his profile and personal interests - maybe getting on TV, selling a book deal, etc. So many school safety advocates want “safer” schools and have no idea of the empirical research that might actually bring about this goal.
  2. If the writers decide to keep the recurring shootings at South Park Elementary, then add more overt fortifications after each incident, a few bollards, then the entire school circled in bollards, bullet proof glass, retina scans, make it like TSA security, cameras, drones, robot security guards, sweep past the school store and have “bulletproof” backpacks and binders. Again, this mirrors and exaggerates reality. In the episode, the school environment changed very little from shooting to shooting.  To hammer this point of over-fortification, the school, or so-called safety experts could have argued that all students and parents must have “security chip” implants and offer weekly community school assemblies about school safety that are simply commiseration sessions and opportunities to point out societal flaws and not remotely touch upon an actionable solution.

FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com.

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Despite the fact that there have been several theories of personal resilience, and that some of the theories have suggested that there are more than one dimension, those theories have not focused on the person’s internal characteristics or provided an adequate elucidation of the exact components of adult personal resilience. Dr. Perrodin begins a discussion of what it means to be resilient as he shares the collaborative research he conducted with Iranian Professor Nemati Shahrooz, Ph.D., University of Tabriz, Iran to better inform what is known of resiliency and attachment to God with Hope in Mothers of Children with Specific Learning Disability. The study revealed a stark contrast between resiliency in Eastern and Western cultures and the personal characteristics that are ascribed to “resilient” people. RESILIENCY - MORE THAN JUST COMPRESSING A SPONGE AND HAVING IT BOUNCE BACK TO NORMAL. “It is necessary to distinguish between resilience for inanimate objects versus animate beings, with the objective of refining the concept for human beings. For certain inanimate physical objects, such as a soccer ball, resilience refers to the object regaining its shape after being distorted by some outside force. In other words, a resilient inanimate object that comes under pressure can spring back to its original size and shape without experiencing irreparable damage. [As humans aren’t soccer balls] external influences ought not to be included in defining personal resilience, which should be regarded as a characteristic that exists within a person (Taormina, 2015).” THE FOUR PARTS OF RESILIENCY. Taormina describes identifies four clear dimensions of adult personal resilience as internal factors that will help achieve a better understanding of what resilience is, and, by explaining the new dimensions, takes a positive psychology approach that will help both research and practice.

  1. DETERMINATION is defined as the willpower and firmness of purpose that a person has and the decision to persevere and/or to succeed.
  2. ENDURANCE is defined as the personal strength and fortitude that one possesses to withstand unpleasant or difficult situations without giving up.
  3. ADAPTABILITY is defined as the capacity to be flexible and resourceful, and to cope with adverse environments and adjust oneself to fit into changing conditions.
  4. RECUPERABILITY is defined as the ability to recover, physically and cognitively, from various types of harm, setbacks, or difficulties in order to return to and reestablish one’s usual condition. Dr. Perrodin notes that the questionnaire contains terms that will be interpreted differently across participants. For example, a noisy apartment might be unpleasant to one person while having spoiled food to eat might be unpleasant to another person. The questionnaire constructs are solid, but the actual questions that inform the constructs must be administered with much explanation and ability to clarify perceptions of the respondents.

DAVID TAKES THE RESILIENCY QUESTIONNAIRE. How resilient is Doc? Hard to say as he hasn’t endured some of the tribulations referenced in the assessment. Life experiences are integral to learning about one’s resiliency - and a reason why resiliency scales should be different for adults than for children.  ANECDOTES IN THIS EPISODE. David dips a toe into the conspiracy theory of the October 3rd Presidential Alert message delivered to millions of cell phones. He’s irritated with his daughter’s school fundraiser; and also shares that friends and colleagues are considering significant alterations to their inter-personal encounters as a defensive measure to lessen the likelihood of being accused of inappropriate interactions - a definition which might change with the shifting sands of time. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.comARTICLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE. Adult Personal resilience: A New Theory, New Measure, and Practical Implications by Robert J. Taormina. Psychological Thought  2015, Vol. 8(1), 35–46 doi:10.5964/psyct.v8i1.126  

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