One year ago today, I was working at school. A regular day. We began hearing stories about a shooting in Connecticut. We didn’t have a lot of details, but as the day went on, we began to hear the horrific details of that day. I don’t have to rehash the event. It has been repeated over and over again.
Even before this tragedy, we practiced emergency drills at school and the children know where to go and hide if there was ever a true emergency. We stress the magnitude of the importance of them but at the same time, we try not to scare the kids. It is so sad that this is what our world has come to and that we have to even plan for this type of circumstance.
I remembering emailing the families in my class after it happened. I think that everyone was thinking, “It could have happened anywhere.” I wanted them to know that while their children were at school, I would do everything in my power to keep their children safe. All of us would. Part of our job is ensuring the safety of children. On a daily basis we talk to them about keeping safe; holding the railings on the stairs, not running through the halls, hands and feet to ourselves…the list goes on and on.
As teachers, we began to talk about what we would do if we were faced with this situation?? We all had the same response, we’d do everything possible to protect them. They come to school everyday trusting that while they are there, they feel safe with us. They need to know that we are there not only to teach them, but to take care of them and give them a sense of security. Emergency drills are scary, but they are necessary.
After December 14th, a quote began circling the internet:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers