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Can we ever feel safe at school again? #blogboost

9 Jan

What should have been an innocent and funny situation at school yesterday, wasn’t to me.

I’ll admit when I heard of yet another school schooting in the US, this one in Conneticut, I thought to myself, how tragic and how horrific. But then in the back of my mind I’m silently thinking “I’m so happy I live in a place where that would never happen”. And about 90% of me truly believes that. I believe I live in a safe community, in an area where access to weapons is minimal, where my kids are safe at school. Where I am safe at school. While all that keeps my mind sane and my heart happy, I also am a realist and I understand that noone is ever immunte to anything. I also know that the more these events happen and are – not glorified – but given such worldwide media attention, the chance of such tragedy happening locally increases immensely. Still for the most part, I do feel safe in my community. But something happened today that shook my confidence even more.

As we were sitting in class the other day, a young man strolled by the open door to our classroom.

The teacher said “Hi”.

He stopped at the doorway and said Hi back. Then he just stood there.

She asked if there was something he needed and he said smartly “yeah, an education.” We laughed a little. He didn’t.

He stood in the doorway.  Things got quiet and awkward and tense as we weren’t really sure anymore if he was serious or what his intentions were at this point.

She continued to ask him a few more questions in hopes of figuring out what it was that he wanted or needed and every question he came back with a smart ass answer. And still stood there.

Eventually she asked him if he could leave so she could resume her class. He stood there for what felt like forever to me….then turned and left.

My heart was pounding by this point. I don’t know how everyone else was feeling but we all agreed that we were weirded out and uncomfortable when we discussed it later on.

At that moment though I imagined the confusion and fear all those who’ve been involved in one of the many gun related tragedies must have felt. Whether it has happened at school, at the mall, or a theatre. I wondered what they were thinking, if some of them wanted to scream and run but were too scared to overreact to the situation. If any of them suspected the danger that was about to happen. At what point does one realize what is going on in these situations. I imagined how things probably happened before their minds even had a chance to process it.

I was shaken by my “unexperience” for the rest of class time, I can’t imagine the terror these people will face going forward in their everyday lives.

It’s so sad to me that this can and is happening, not once, but repeatedly. Why do we keep leaving ourselves so vulnerable to the madmen that have destroyed so much already. It’s sad to me that there is now way we can guarantee our kid’s safety anymore. It’s sad to me that at some point, there is going to be actual innocent people get gunned down simply because they made someone uncomfortable and we scared of what might be about to happen.

These “mentally ill” individuals have destroyed so many lives directly, but have destroyed aspects of so many more lives globally. I shouldn’t have had to have those thoughts. And I’m an adult. I have the ability to rationalize my internal fears and think logically about the situation – even though at times I’m not the greatest at that. Imagine what children who’ve seen the news, who’ve followed the stories and are aware of the events going on are feeling. Imagine the children returning to these schools. Their lives are forever changed.

Only time will tell the real impact that has on them in the future. On THE future really.

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