I live about 6 hours from Uvalde, Texas the place of a horrific school shooting. I cannot count the number of tears that have been shed over this senseless murder. Sadly, these shootings have become a new norm-but this one shook me hard.
The kids were around the age I teach.
The school was in Texas.
Teachers died trying to save their students.
They followed all the rules. Practiced all the drills and were left to take care of themselves. As teachers, we know our job is important, but it is now dangerous. We are expected to die protecting our students…even if it is not expected-we would do it. They are kids and we love them…it is how we are made and why we are called to teach.
But I am angry at our system.
Those kids had to save themselves. That should not have happened. So much went wrong that it makes me angry and afraid. As a teacher, do I need to defend myself and not rely on the protocols that they give us? The help stood outside the door while kids begged for help to arrive. Even parents were willing to go in…kids saved each other while adults stood outside the door.
Outside the door while multiple 911 calls came in from a room where they thought everyone had died.
I cannot imagine the trauma the survivors will endure the rest of their lives. What if that were my child? It makes me angry.
As teachers, we all relate because really we all experience the same thing. Teachers get teachers. The car lines, the absent parents, report cards, workrooms, low pay, summers, staff development…different school…different city but same experience. We can all relate.
So tonight I struggle because I can relate to Uvalde. Propping the door is never okay, but I have done it because I forgot my keys in my room. Awards assemblies always bring more people on campus which is more chaos, end of year is full of movies and chill time with friends, locked doors can be annoying because you hear knocking all day long. The kids love to lock their friends out or play at the window. I get it. All teachers do.
Yet 2 teachers died along with 19 kids and I cannot wrap my head around the fact they were sitting ducks left for over an hour when every drill I have ever done they say they will get us. Remain quiet until we get you they say.
They did not get them. There is no excuse.
Teaching is one of the hardest professions and this May it just got harder. May God be with the families and city of Uvalde. You are light in the darkness and I pray the catalyst for much needed change and recognition.