December 14, 2013 by vlittle528
I wish that I could be writing this while thinking that this is a rare occurrence. That I can tuck my kids in and know in my heart that they will be safe next time I send them to school, or the movies, or a football game, or anywhere for that matter. But I just can’t anymore. I feel like I no longer put school shootings in the “if” category, but the when. I watched the faces of the students streaming from Arapahoe High School and wondered what they were thinking. Were they thinking that their parents said that Columbine or the Aurora Theater shootings were isolated instances but these instances are happening more and more? Where they thinking that nowhere is safe? Where they thinking that no one could protect them anymore? I wish I had the right answers, but I don’t. I wish I had the words to give my children, but I don’t. And I wish that my son didn’t come to see school lockdowns as something normal in elementary school…but he does.
Tonight my dad asked my niece and nephew what they were told to do if this happened in their schools. Both of them looked blank for a second. My nephew, who is in high school, said that they were supposed to run into a corner. My niece works in a school and talked about the precautions they have in place. My point was that in the vast majority of the cases of school shootings we have seen, the shooter was one that belonged in the school. No amount of carding, getting a note to be in the halls, ringing in at the door or any of the current measures would have kept them from getting access to the schools.
The current measures don’t seem to be enough, something more needs to be done. I don’t know what. I feel helpless. But I can’t look my children in the eyes and tell them that this is again another isolated incident. I am not sure my son would believe me at this point even if I tried. So instead I will hug them close. I will tell them that we just have to believe that good will prevail and we have to fight for it. I will kiss them goodnight and pray for the safety of innocent people, young and old alike. I will tell them to pay attention to the drills that their schools put in place, I will beg them to remain vigilant in a school that they should feel safe in. And I will encourage them to believe in kindness, goodness, and love.
And then I will will remind myself to do the same.