Posts Tagged ‘Connecticut School Shootings’

The stuff I write usually leans toward the funny side, with some sharp opinions thrown in for good measure. Today, though, that won’t be the case. After what happened Friday, I just thought I’d give you some random thoughts . . .

You know, I don’t understand any type of killing but you can sort of see where it sometimes originates. An argument, a drug deal gone bad, stuff like that. But the shootings in Connecticut the other day, well, they were just so incomprehensible, so senseless, that they are beyond understanding. I see kids the same age as the victims every day and it makes your heart hurt to think about what happened in that school on Friday morning.

Obviously everyone was shocked and outraged, but nobody more so than those of us who teach. I have been in education for over 28-years, and one thing I know is this – school is a place where kids need to feel safe, have to feel safe.

For some kids, school has long been considered a place to avoid at all costs, a place to go to because you had to, a unwanted necessity and annoyance of life.

For others, though, school is the very best place they’ll be all day, the best place they’ll be, well, maybe ever. As sad as it sounds, the years in school are for some are the best years of their lives.

They look forward to being able to go to a place where they can laugh with their friends, where they get attention, both good and bad, from their teachers, where they can socialize and interact with each other without fear, where they can feel safe. For some, they simply don’t get this kind of attention and protection at home. School provides that.

I have a former student from 15-years ago that I talk to regularly. He had a tough upbringing with an abusive father, an inattentive and alcoholic mother, and two older brothers who provided no positive guidance or help of any kind. Somehow, he has risen above this and has a good job and a beautiful family now. He has no contact with his parents nor does he want any. He simply doesn’t want his children exposed to what he was exposed to. It terrifies him to think how they could be affected by his own family, and that is incredibly sad. He told me once that the reason he played sports in school was that he didn’t want to go home. He said he would have slept on my classroom floor if I’d let him. School was a place where he felt like he was wanted, even needed.

It was his safe haven.

On Friday, that security was shattered for a lot of students, and aside from those who actually lost family members, I can’t think of anything more tragic.

I don’t have any answers and won’t pretend to. I’ve heard talk of arming teachers, having schools on lockdown all day, and a bunch of other stuff that I don’t really feel is practical. A school is a public place, we can’t search everyone who walks in the building, we have to go out for recess, and I don’t know if giving teachers guns is a good idea either. I just don’t know.

I know most of my kids think that Mr. Shoe would never let anything happen to them, and I would do my damndest to protect them. In reality, though, there are no guarantees.

I do know we’ll talk about this in on Monday, and I’ll try and allay any fears that might be there, lingering in some student’s mind.

Because there are many emotions a student will feel while attending school – joy, frustration, pride, sadness, even boredom.

But he they should never, ever, be afraid.