Yesterday was another tragic event in our history.
I cried last night when I thought about the fear those students and teachers must have felt. I cried for the 17 people who lost their lives. I cried for those families affected. I cried when I watched the Snapchat videos from some of the students during the actual shooting. It was terrifying.
I remember being in high school when Columbine happened. It was shocking. We didn't have shooter drills in school then. We had fire drills and natural disaster drills. It was such a rare thing then...sadly now it feels like it's becoming the norm. That breaks my heart and terrifies me on so many levels.
I don't have all the answers. I don't know exactly what to do. And I'm not going to get political.
But I do want to say something.
To the students that don't feel safe in school:
I am so incredibly sorry. I am so sorry that you live in a world where you can't get an education and feel protected and safe while doing so. I am so sorry that people think that violence is the answer. I am so sorry that they feel powerless or angry or are mentally ill or unstable or they come from homes that they don't get the love and attention that you did and they don't get the care they need and instead, bad things happen to you and your friends. I'm sorry you have to text your parents and tell them you love them because you think you may die. And I'm so sorry that you now have to learn to get over this event and live with it for the rest of your lives. I'm just...sorry.
To the teachers:
You have such a heavy load on your shoulders. You work long hours. You often are underpaid. You are most certainly often underappreciated. You have some parents that expect you to raise their children. You have other parents who are trying so hard to support you. You have some that are working against you. You want to be an educator; you want to make a difference in the lives of students and guide them, mentor them, support them in their dreams and teach them how to reach them. You care for every single student as if they were your own. You feel an obligation to protect them. You have to worry that if you discipline a student for something that deserves discipline...will they come back and take revenge? Are you putting the other kids at risk by trying to do the right thing? Will you get hurt in the process? Will you have to live with that? You also, shouldn't have to go to work and feel afraid. You shouldn't have to worry about how to react when there's an incident at your school. You shouldn't have to wonder if your school is next because it's happening so frequently. You have so much pressure on you.
I want you to know how grateful for you I am. I see you. I see the extra hours and stress and worry. I see the work you put in, and the care you give it. You make it your life. I am so thankful for you. I know when I send my child to school, you will do everything in your power to keep them safe. It's not your fault when you can't save them all. I know you feel guilty. But you shouldn't.
I hope one day soon, we can figure out improvements to help make our children and teachers safe.
But for now, to all the teachers and students who seemingly put their lives on the line every day just so they can teach or be taught, we love you. We are thankful for you. We appreciate you. And we are so sorry.