Call with a Serial Killer & “Grand Theft Auto” in Lafayette Safety Training
Since writing this story, I have received many more comments about the presentation. At the bottom of this article, you can see a letter to teachers from Superintendent Irma Trosclair.
I am still working on getting more information about a safety training that was held for Lafayette Parish School System teachers today for their in-service.
From what I have been told so far, the presenter was Phil Chalmers, who states on his website that he is the following, "Criminal Profiler - Real Estate Trainer - Law Enforcement Trainer". Chalmers is a noted speaker across the country on helping people learn the warning signs of possible violence in teenagers.
What I have been told about today's presentation is that a link was sent to teachers for them to watch this presentation which had several problems with audio and video for the first thirty to forty-five minutes. So, was the man on the stage at the Heymann Center, and how many teachers were in the audience? If there were very few teachers in the audience, why did we pay to fly this guy down? Wasn't there an alternative to having him speak in person by using technology? Did we pay to rent the Heymann Center too? And if so, why?
There are other, bigger questions though? If you are familiar with the game "Grand Theft Auto" then you know as the character you can do a wide range of graphic things. What was shown today by Chalmers was him playing the game, finding a prostitute, paying her for oral sex, beating her up, and then setting her on fire with gasoline. This is a standard part of the game. While there was a warning of "graphic material" before it was shown to teachers, did it have to be shown is what one teacher asked me? More than one teacher is asking that question.
One of the teachers I spoke with said they didn't feel like they received any kind of information that was useful to professional development, and they didn't learn warning signs that teenagers might show before they commit an act of violence.
Another area of today's in-service presentation was why Chalmers interviewed a serial killer about his crimes? A teacher said the person is incarcerated and talked about how many people he had killed.
Again, I do not have a statement from the Lafayette Parish School Board, but I am told there will be one in the morning.
Every single person I know wants to keep kids safe, and I have seen Phil Chalmers on national shows, but I do wonder why the game had to be shown? A teacher said that school shooting videos were also shown, and that teacher said that they didn't need to see the video to get the point. The point was is that some school shooters shoot through the glass to get at victims.
Phil Chalmers' website does offer virtual training at $49 per person.
There is no doubt we live in a dangerous world. I do not know what is right or wrong about this situation, but I am presenting to you questions asked to me.
Here is the letter that was sent to teachers and administrators: