For days, I’ve tried to put together a post on the recent school shooting. I started to write…then deleted my post…started again…only to delete – My emotions, mostly sadness and frustration, have prevented me from doing what I love most – writing –
As a teacher and a mom of two school-aged children, I’ve been at a loss for words. I can’t believe school shootings are still happening. Even more frustrating, I don’t have the solution. The issue is, there is no “one” solution. There are so many variables – it’s complicated – guns, mental illness, anger issues, lack of school security – I don’t know – honestly – I just don’t.
In the aftermath of Parkland, I have read numerous articles, blog posts, Instagram posts, and watched many news segments. I have read the cruel and insensitive comments on social media from the keyboard warriors. I have read the heart breaking stories from families of the victims – I have also read some really interesting, intelligent, and well-written pieces.
I’ve struggled to write this -mostly due to the backlash – but mostly, I’ve struggled to write because my post won’t be any different from what has already been said. And a lot has been said.
I am writing mostly to be a voice – a voice for parents and teachers – a voice for the students and teachers that are anxious to go to school – and a voice to say – we CAN’T forget about this in a week, a month, a year – we can’t sit back and add this shooting to the list –
I am writing because, sitting behind a computer screen clicking “share” is much different than actually sitting at a teacher desk looking around your classroom wondering…
“Where would I hide my 28 kids?” “Could I protect my students?” “What would I actually do?”
I’ve thought about it…I know the drills – I know “what to do” – but will it be enough?
Instead of writing – I read – I read articles suggesting teachers can, “simply arrange” classrooms differently. Another article talked about a teacher who has students write notes on Fridays about who they would like to sit with the following week or a classmate they would want to get to know better. The teacher studies the notes over the weekend to identify struggling students or “loners” – It’s a sweet idea – and it may work for some grade levels – but aren’t teachers already aware of their struggling students or loners – isn’t that already in their instinctual teacher super powers? It seems teachers should add therapist, psychologist, and mind reader to their already extensive list of responsibilities and unrealistic expectations.
I don’t have the answers — it seems nobody has answers — and since Columbine, the only thing that has changed is an increase in the amount and type of drills conducted on a monthly basis, and an alarming increase in the amount of school shootings.
I am just like every other frustrated teacher and I’m just like every other worried parent — praying Parkland doesn’t happen in our community.
How cliche? Hoping and praying doesn’t prevent school shootings. Hoping and praying doesn’t stop tragedy, but change could. I just don’t know what that change is.
I’m just like every other teacher, hoping I never have to make the split second decision to take a bullet for my students; I’m just like every parent, praying that there is a teacher that would take a bullet for my children.