As a mother and educator, I felt compelled to address this most recent mass shooting at a school. As an educator for over 10 years, as a mother and Mima to my little guy Max,
I. AM. TERRIFIED!!! When I became a teacher, like most, I believed I was signing up to teach children. Teach them math, reading, writing and whatever other subjects they needed to learn to be successful. Right? I also knew, that I would be modeling social behaviors, like saying “thank you” and “I’m sorry”.
I knew at times I would be a social worker, a nurse, and a mother too as these kids spend a good portion of their day in my classroom. A classroom I tried to make a safe place by telling them how to hold scissors, not to run, keeping the classroom clean and clutter-free. What I didn’t imagine back then, as I sat in my college courses, was that I would also maybe one day be called to act as a human shield to keep them safe from a deranged shooters.
The fact that there are individuals out there that consider it completely okay to walk into a school and start shooting baffles me beyond words. Mass shootings in general are baffling but a shooting at a school where children gather expecting to go home at the end of day, leaves me speechless. And quite frankly, I didn’t sign up for this.
Selfishly speaking, I have my own kids and family that I want to go home to at the end of the day. I want to see my kids living their lives, building friendships and relationships, getting married and having babies of their own, growing successful careers. I want to celebrate holidays and birthdays, share tears and joy with them.
Living in a society that does not seem to understand the gravity and urgency of our current situation and is so slow to respond by changing gun-control laws is even more disturbing. I am personally tired of people saying guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people. I am sorry maybe that’s a catchy slogan for gun enthusiasts, but the reality is that is not cutting it for me. If it were harder for people to get a hold of a semi-automatic weapon, perhaps it would be a little more difficult for people to use them. If the process to get our hands on these weapons was lengthier and more thorough, perhaps the shootings would be more difficult to be executed!!! If our government officials would stop letting their egos make our laws, perhaps there would be one less shooting!
Did you know there are countries where law enforcement officials don’t even carry guns and it seems like it’s working well. And I am not going by social media posts or memes. I’ve actually researched them.
I have a grandson in school and quite frankly, I shouldn’t be having anxiety over whether or not he is safe in school. The reality is our society is changing and therefore our laws need to change and they need to change now. Immediately! Cut the red tape and cut the bullshit. Let’s make our schools safe again. If that requires metal detectors and bulletproof glass, then so be it. But giving me a gun is not the answer! So not only do I have to worry about a crazy gunman coming into the school, I now have to worry about shooting off my on foot because I am not trained properly or sufficiently, being shot by a disgruntled teacher or one of my students accidentally getting their hands on my “classroom” gun. HOW DOES THIS EVEN MAKE SENSE???
As a society, we have many issues that contribute to this epidemic. This is no longer just a gun issue. It is a culture which has been perpetuated by so many other issues that are not even being address. As a people we need to mobilize and we need to do it ASAP! At the end of the day, I will continue to create a safe environment for my students, but the reality is it’s not what I signed up for and I don’t ever want to be put in a situation where I have to make a split second decision about protecting my students or wanting to see my family. Even sadder, as this blog is not live yet, my fear is that by the time it does go live, another school shooting may have occurred.
How many more teachers, coaches, students and other school personnel will have lost their lives? We need to stop believing it can never happen in our town, because as we have seen there is no specific profile to the schools in which these shootings are occurring They are happening in small and big towns. Urban, suburban, white and black. None of us are immune!