Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Prayer and Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary

(I can't be totally silent for this issue, I'm a big mouth, I know)
As an elementary school teacher this would be a great time to freak out, right? 

When I initially got an email from our superintendent Friday about the Sandy Hook shooting, I looked it up, debated telling the kids....and then realized something. They're 10, there is no way I'm telling these little people this. They've been consumed enough that the world is ending Friday, the last thing they need is to think it is ending because someone is going to shoot them in the middle of reading. 

I try not to keep up with these things too much. Almost to the point where if there were a shooting in my school I'd find out a day later. There is just no point in getting upset over what I can't control. There is definitely no point in getting the kids worked up over something they should never worry about in their lives. The thought never once crossed my mind that someone would shoot me at school. Even after Columbine, it wasn't in my reality. I think I've gone a long way to keep those things separate in my mind for sanity purposes though. 

So school security...should we beef it up more? 

It sort of surprises me that some schools are so laid back on their security stance. The two schools I previously taught at had one entrance and exit after that bell rang at 7:45am and you weren't getting past the front desk. We also had cops up and down the halls every day at random times. However, not all schools are like that. The high school Jeremy taught at was in the same parish I taught in, they were much more laid back...you could enter from any which way. It would take several minutes before someone had realized a shooting was taking place, if it ever did. The school I grew up in, high security until Jr. High, then security broke down.  It seems so much easier to get into a high school. 

The parish I teach in now, it's not as high security as where I previously taught; but they are beefing up procedures now. Until today you could enter from any which way, now they've narrowed it down to just the front door. 

Even with all that, do I worry that someone will walk into my class and threaten to shoot me. Nope. It's just not something I'm willing to waste mental time on. If I die that way, then so be it. It was meant to be. 

Hopefully the kids I'm teaching don't ever face such an incident. 

The teachers from Sandy Hook who did face it though, did things I can't say for certain I would do. It is just impossible to say you would jump in front of a gun, without ever being faced with the problem. I read about one teacher in particular who lied to the gunman about where her class was and was shot and killed, the principal and school psychologist were killed confronting the guy too. There were some brave teachers at that school, and they should be honored for their actions. 

I can't imagine losing a child that way. But even more than that (since we are childless) I can't imagine trying to keep 20 kids calm, the panic I've seen on kids faces during a tornado is enough. Not knowing if you will live or die and hearing the shots ring out has got to be total hell. 

Being the little psych degree carrying family that we are, we had an interesting talk Sunday night about the whole ordeal. Let's just say it's something I hope I never have to face. 

I am constantly reminded of a sermon I heard last year at the funeral of a student's father. The pastor spoke on 2 Corinthians 1:3-7:

Blessed  be  the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who  comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as  the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.  Now if we are afflicted,  it is  for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.  And our hope for you  is  steadfast, because we know that  as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also  you will partake of the consolation.

We go through things so that we can better comfort others, and so that we can be comforted by God. There is reason behind everything, none of the evil in our world sneaks up on God. He knows what is happening, and what will happen. It is our job to love on those who are going through trials, and to show them the love and comfort of God. 

Be in prayer for the families who were affected the shooting and all the educators in our country. There is a lot of evil in the world and I promise you, our teachers get a first hand look at it every day. 



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