Taking a bullet for other peoples’ children

The reality of Friday’s event in Connecticut is slowly sinking in to our collective memories. The hand-wringing has begun and the vows of never-again are starting to percolate.

This is what I posted on my Facebook page just this morning (because the more I think about those babies & the terror they must have felt, the angrier & more pissed off I get).

“There are restrictions on amendments, such as the freedom of speech. One cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater. We put limits on our freedoms when it means there is a threat to the common good. It is time to put limits on the 2nd Amendment. I’m tired & angry that we keep having this conversation & not a damn thing changes.”

It was women and children murdered on Friday, murdered in the one place they should have felt the most safe – a classroom.

Last year in the school district where I work, one of our teachers dealt with an intruder in her classroom. This intruder acted like he had a gun and threatened both the students and the teacher in the classroom. Fortunately for her, this intruder did not have a gun.

The school where I’m teaching this year was in lockdown last year. The high school is just up the hill and there had been an incident at the high school in which there was a threat of a gun. One of the police officers later shared with me that during the lockdown, one of the teachers on my campus did not know the campus was in lockdown due a phone malfunction. This teacher walked her students in a single file line right in the line of fire of the police officer. As he shared with me later, he stated that had he been the person with the gun, the teacher and those students would have been dead.

How many other schools have had to deal with lockdowns this past year? My guess would be thousands. When teachers are faced with the potential threat to their students, we do what we always do – safety for our students as a number one priority.

I also tweeted yesterday the statement that “those who bash teachers, remember they are the ones who will literally take a bullet for your child.” Every single one of the adults who lost their lives on Friday were women and every single one of those women left behind families who will grieve for them for a lifetime.

We need as a nation to start having a serious conversation about gun control. We need as a nation to do more for those who suffer from a mental illness and provide support for those family members who have loved ones dealing with a mental illness. Finally, we as a nation MUST recognize that the majority of people in our schools today are women – women who care for other peoples’ children as if they were their own.

We cannot let the lives of the women who took a bullet trying to save the lives of other peoples’ children go in vain. We must do something. We must change. We need to stop the bashing of teachers and recognize that many willingly sacrifice so much of themselves doing what they love to do – teaching because we want to make a difference.

The women who lost their lives on Friday were my colleagues and their children were my children. We as a nation can do better. We as a nation must do better.

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