Friday, January 4, 2013

The Winter of our Despair

I have started to write this post so many times since the unspeakable horror in Newton, CT.  What can I say that no one else has said already?  My perspective is not unique; I have no words of wisdom, no words that will make sense of something so tragic.  As with any other time something goes on that is painful in the world or in my backyard, I just get up the next morning and do the best I can. 

There are no easy answers.  The NRA suggested armed guards at every school.  Not so shocking to me because we already have two armed police officers at our school.  Would I carry a gun?  Absolutely not.  Would I work at a school where staff and faculty were permitted to be armed?  No way.  Which brings me to the biggest question....

Do I feel safe?

Yes.  Kind of.  If I look at it logically, I feel safe.  Although it is happening entirely too frequently, the fact is that teachers and students go to school without incident the majority of the time.  We have gaps in our security, true, but I have a much, much higher chance of getting in an accident on the way to school.  Everyone is on high alert, new safety considerations are being instituted.  It has never been more safe to go to school than right now. 

But, do I feel safe?

No, not really.

I've had nightmares.  My mind has gone to dark places.  I have cried.  Even though I made every effort to not watch coverage, I still know entirely too much about the shootings and am haunted by the victims' sweet, little faces.  The fact is, anyone could walk in our building and do great damage before our officers could get there.  We found a bullet on the floor of the cafeteria this week.  "No one is in any danger, it could have been dropped by anybody.  We had 400 people in the building last night for a game..."  Right.  

The first week, I locked my door every minute we were in the classroom.  This week, I have not.  I'm going to move on and teach because that is really all I can do.  I have SOLs in just 8 weeks.  Then I can take a breath and then, I will be just steps away spring.

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