My heart has been so heavy ever since the tragedy in Connecticut last week. My mother's heart hurts and my teacher's heart hurts. Every time I hear anything about it or even think about it, I get choked up. I have been trying to think of how to address it in a blog post, but I don't have anything profound to say.
Even though my kids are not old enough to be in school, my first thought after hearing about all those little lost souls was my own kids. When you put your child on the school bus in the morning, you expect them to get back off of it in the afternoon. I can't even imagine what those parents were feeling as they made their way to that firehouse, frantically searching for their kids. The joy and relief for those who found theirs....the devastation and fear for those who didn't. I can't even imagine. I don't want to imagine, but my mind keeps going there. My mother's heart hurts for them. So badly.
My next thought, of course, was of the teachers. The sheer terror they must have been feeling, while having to remain calm for their students' sake. My teacher's heart hurts for the feelings of guilt and helplessness they must feel. As a teacher, I always dreaded our lock down drills. Not only because it could sometimes be a long, boring, frustrating ordeal, but also because it always gave me the creeps. Often, during these drills, the police or school administrators will come rattle the classroom doors to make sure they are locked. That was always my least favorite part. I would instantly get the chills, imagining it being a real perpetrator. Even though I haven't heard too many details about what happened in various classrooms at Sandy Hook, I can guarantee those teachers were heroes, and I have appreciated seeing the outpouring of support for teachers since the ordeal.
I won't get into politics or policy. I will not make any statements about gun control. The one thing I would like to say is that kids are safe at school. As safe as they are anywhere. We've seen, unfortunately, that tragedy can strike anywhere--malls, movie theathers, walking down the street... Short of keeping our kids locked up in a padded room, there's not much we can do to guarantee their safety. If a madman wants to commit a crime like this, they will find a way. Kids are safe at school. Their teachers love them. As Vicki Soto, Lauren Rosseau, and the other teachers at Sandy Hook did, teachers would do everything in their power to keep your kids safe. We know that each and every one of our students is someone's baby. Becoming a mother myself made me really realize and appreciate that. Every student is someone's most prized possession, and teachers don't take their responsibility lightly. We know that parents are entrusting their children to us during the day, and it is an honor to care for them.
My heart goes out to every child, parent, teacher, janitor, and first responder that was affected by this tragedy. Such a terrible thing to happen, especially at Christmastime.
Wishing everyone a blessed, safe Christmas!