I hope my followers will excuse this completely off-topic post today. I just can’t sit by and not address this one.
There are no words to describe what I felt today when I heard about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School – a mere 30 minutes from where I live. My first thoughts were about the children. After that, I thought about the teachers and the school staff. Then the parents, and the entire community.
The events of today rocked me to the core.
First, I am godmother to a Kindergartner in a public school. That alone was enough to make me need to sit down and catch my breath.
Second, I know people who live in the town – thankfully all of them, along with their children – are safe and sound tonight as far as I know.
Third, I am an educator – a former classroom teacher. The lives of several hundred children have been in my hands over the course of my career. I remember conducting lockdown drills with my fifth grade students. Some of them didn’t take it seriously – giggling and laughing about having to pull the shades, lock the door, and hide in the corner. I remember ripping into them about how serious it really was – I think I scared them a little. In a way, I’m glad I did. They knew it was serious business. I wish I never had to do that – but today reminded me why I did, and those kids would know what to do if (God forbid) something like this ever happened to them. Those teachers and kids in Newtown knew what to do. Some of them just didn’t have the chance.
The events of today left people questioning so many things – school security, gun laws, mental health care… There are rightfully many things to question. There will be answers to some of the questions, and some will have no answers. In our quest to find answers, and in these days of 24/7 “instant” news, we often wrongly place blame and report things that are incorrect in haste. That happened many times already today. I really hope that people will allow those involved the time to find the answers to the questions that can be answered.
As for me, the teacher in me is devastated. The human being in me is disgusted. But, there really are no words to describe what I am feeling in my heart tonight. I just know that my thoughts and prayers are with anyone and everyone affected by this senseless tragedy. God bless each and every one of them.