I remember vividly the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.
I was a Junior at Mountain View High School in Stafford, Virginia. My school colors were VT’s colors. Many of my friends had siblings or friends at VT, as well as planning on attending there next year.
We numerous moments of silence and candle-lit vigils. We comforted each other as our siblings and friends were shot down. We wore VT clothing for weeks and discussed the importance of this shooting in all our classes.
Thank goodness I didn’t know anyone at Virginia Tech. But, my friends did. They were hurting.
I don’t know anyone at all in Connecticut. But, I hurt.
After hearing about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Friday, my heart has bleed.
These were very young children to die. These were very young teachers to die. But my heart goes out to them. Those brave, brave teachers who probably had only been teaching for a few years. Those brave, brave teachers who had risked and lost their lives to try and save their students’ lives. Like this teacher:
|A friend on Facebook shared this photo. I don’t own it.|
Would I have done the same thing?
I don’t teach 6-9 year-olds. I teach teenagers. I have about 32 in 6 different periods.
I teach outside the school in a trailer. When we go in the school building to use the computer lab, or I go in for lunch, I don’t lock my door. I often stay late to grade or work on lesson plans. By the time I go home, it is dark outside. A couple weeks ago, one of my students asked me if I was afraid of being in the trailer all by myself in the evening. Without hesitation I said no. I teach in Springville, Utah. I have lived in San Diego, visited D.C. plenty of times, and have lived in Metropolitan Virginia (the same area of the 2003 sniper attacks). I wasn’t afraid of Springville.
I am so grateful for that.
But. That doesn’t mean something like this won’t happen at Springville Junior High.
I also saw this on Facebook:
“To parents who aren’t educators, this may be hard to understand. Five days a week, we teach your kids. Joke with your kids. Console your kids. Praise your kids. Question your kids. Beat our heads up against a wall about your kids. Gush over your kids. Laugh with your kids. Worry about your kids. Keep an eye on your kids.
We would all take a bullet for your kids. It’s nowhere in our job description. It isn’t covered in the employee handbook. It isn’t cited on our contracts. But we would all do it. So, yes—please hug your kids tonight—really, really tight. But on Monday, if you see your kids’ teacher, hug them too.”
I have been teaching for almost 1 semester. I am only 22. I am scared of heights and a worry-wart. But, I would lay down my life for any one of my students–even Juarez and Nicolo and Steven (names been changed) who always give me trouble.
Because I care about my students. And it scares me.
I have a few students who suffer: emotionally, socially, mentally. I ache to help them. I try to reach out to them. To pair them with the kind souls that I see in many of students. Those tender, loving arms that will reach out to nourish these children. But it still scares me, especially after reading this article.
For years (especially during the VT shootings) the debate has gone on: gun control laws and mental illness awareness. Will they or won’t they stop shootings from occurring. The answer is no, no matter how you answer it. It scares me.
The answer is, until we can bring God and hope back into schools, we will continue to have this happen.
I miss the Moment of Silence. One minutee–60 seconds. Time to silently prepare for the day. Time to give thanks to Allah, God, Buddha, Jehovah. Time to remember the homework you missed. Time to pray for help on that test. Time to finish that last paragraph of the book you were reading. Time to catch a few winks of sleep. The time was ours to do with what we pleased.
I for one, would use it as a time to pray. It isn’t promoting any one religion. It isn’t forcing you to pray. But, I believe we need a little of moral hope in our schools again.
My heart goes out to the parents of these lost children. How empty Christmas will be. My heart goes out to the families of these lost teachers. No phone calls home on Christmas Day.
I sincerely hope they can fight peace and solace in this sacred time of the year. I sincerely hope they will know that they won’t be alone this season: Jesus Christ and the spirits of their lost ones will be there, hugging their shoulders.
I sincerely hope and pray that my students will never have to endure such a terrible event in their life.
May God be with the Sandy Hook school community this Christmas season and may we not forgot the One that can help us.
My heart goes out.