In light of recent events that have close to home due to my job I have decided to think of things that I will/can do. This was actually the only way I found peace of mind Friday evening and got any amount of sleep.
Friday’s events in Connecticut have literally shook me to the core. It has me questioning a million things. Do we even want to bring children into this world someday? Would I have had the courage to hide my fifth graders and save their lives or would I have screamed and freaked with a psycho in the building? Would I have remained calm and read them stories reminding them how much I love them so that gunshots are not the last thing they hear? What will happen to those hundreds of surviving children as they try and live a normal life now scarred by the events of that morning. Will there be more mental illness issues trickling down throughout Newtown all because of one disturbing individual? How can any town or community ever recover from that day? What kinds of questions will I have to answer on Monday? Why didn’t I hug every one of my fifth graders as they left the building Friday? Why don’t I hug them every day? Why don’t I advocate more for that one little soul who screams out for help everyday in my class? Why haven’t I tried harder to encourage his mother to seek help? What am I going to do first thing Monday to make sure he knows he is loved?
Millions of questions.
Very few of them have answers yet……or do they?
This is the list of “I Will” statements that I have came up with over the past two days.
I will ignore the medias attention on the shooter and not mention the individuals name who took the lives of so many because he doesn’t deserve any of my attention.
I will make sure that when I have a little soul screaming for help (like he must have been for years) I will advocate for them. I will make it be known to their parents and our social worker that I am concerned. If nothing is done there then I will go further if I must.
I will answer their questions Monday to the best of my ability and if it means that I shed a few tears, so be it. My students need to know that I am heartbroken that such a thing could ever occur in a safe place like a school.
I will go to my administration and discuss our lock down plan and procedures because I believe they need updated. Quick.
I will see if my students want to make cards or send kind messages to those of Sandy Hook community. Sharing their thoughts and condolences may be just what they need to get their worries out on the table. I will have to walk a fine line because I realize I’m not their parents. I would never try and fill that role. What I do want them to know (as well as their parents) is that I love them and care about them very much. I would like to think had we been in the same situation I would have absolutely risked my life for theirs. I would like to think that it is in my nature and in my blood to protect children. I would never consider that being a hero, just part of the job.
I will continue to stay out of gun control debates via social media because I don’t believe this tragedy should turn immediately to a political debate. For goodness sake can we let these people grieve?
I will pray and I will hold my niece and nephews a little tighter now each and every time I see them.
Truly Fortunate for Another Day,