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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Heavy Heart: Remembering the Victims

How do I even start this?  I'm sure this is how millions of teachers, bloggers, and parents feel today (yesterday, all weekend, every day since we heard the news)! 

Yesterday at my school, we had a moment of silence at the time of the shooting on Friday. 

I'm not even going to mention the shooter's name!  Yes, he's a person.  Yes, he's a soul.  But, he also killed 20 innocent children.  Some of them, they are saying, he shot multiple times!  Really?  Why did he need to shoot them more than once?  Why did he shoot them at all? 

I know the news is saying that he has some mental issue.  Don't we all?  At some time or another, doesn't our brain get to the point that we just can't take it?  Don't we all just WANT to go off the deep end some times?  However....  no matter our own mental capacities, we all most of us manage to live our daily lives without going over the edge and doing any real harm to other people.

As a parent, all I wanted to do on Friday was leave work and get my kid from school.  I even tried to convince my mom to leave work for 20 minutes to go get her, but she couldn't leave either! 

As a teacher, I want to think I would do anything to protect my students too.  In reality, would I really give my life to save the life of one of the students?  Would I really jump in front of the shooter to keep one of the kids alive?  I don't know what I would do, but I don't want to be in the situation to find out either.

I teach high school kids.  So, of course, they all had an opinion of what they would do if someone came into our school.  I lost count of how many times yesterday I had to say, "You have no idea what you would do until you are in that situation.  Please don't belittle the situation by pretending now that you would be Superman if it were to happen here!"  (Teenage boys!  They think they are invincible!)

I realized, during my moments of trying to find a way to get my kid home from school, that her school really isn't that safe. 

1. You can walk into any building at any time.  The doors are not locked.  There is no button to push to be allowed into the school.
2. I have never seen an SRO (Student Resource Officer) at her school.  Hmmm.... maybe I should ask about that! 
3. Because the school is really old, there aren't bathrooms in every building.  The building my daughter is in has 4 classrooms (large rooms), but one wall is totally windows.  Another wall has two large windows.  There are bathrooms in the classrooms, but they are not allowed to use them.  So the students have to go to another building (sometimes alone) to use the bathroom. 
4. I have never once been asked for my ID to enter the school.  I have sent 3 different people to pick my daughter up after school.  NONE of them have been asked for ID.  One of them still isn't on "the list" of approved people to pick her up.  (I'm guessing they didn't check that either!)  They allowed my 9 year old to decide if she knew the people in the car or not.  (My kid is very intelligent and would never get in the car with someone she did not know, but the school really should check these things!)

After a little research, I think I have come up with a great idea to help one of my Girl Scouts get her GOLD AWARD!  I just have to meet up with her to make this happen!!

For today, I will hug my munchkin a little tighter.  I will pray a little harder for her protection at school.  I will hope that GOD will protect us all as a nation as we get through this heartbreaking time!

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