Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ugly Tragedy

The news made me sick.  The gunman kills a classroom of kindergartners first graders and and six adult educators.

I think of L in her kindergarten classroom in Big City.  Her school isn't in a top notch area of the town.

I think of K, a principal in a big school that at times has had their problems. 

I pray that neither of them will ever face a crisis like the one on the news.

I look around my room at Tiny Town High.  Yes, we're a quiet, rural community.  Still, I feel like a sitting duck.  Security systems are in place, but glass breaks and locked doors don't always deter.

So?  What do I do?

I clean my classroom closet to make sure that I could get 20 teenagers into it if I had to.

And I pray that I am never in the situation that Sandy Hook Elementary found themselves in.

I pray.

That's all I've got.

1 comment:

Beth said...

I don't have a closet and 1/3 of my door is glass. Plust I have a long wall of windows from which no one could get out, but plenty can see in and obviously shoot in.
Oddly, we just had a lock down drill last week and I did pull out my desks so that the kids could huddle and have some protection. I sat there and thought what I would do differently if it was real.
One teacher says not to let the kids know your plans because in a high school, you run the risk of tipping off a potential shooter. But next time, I think we will do more.
We will upturn student desks and move all my big desks to provide a barrier. I now know from another teacher to put up a piece of heavy construction paper on the door's window,so no one can look in . Perhaps I should do one for the part of the lower windows that my broken blinds don't cover?
I think we will use the podium to block the door.
The kids were asking questions about what if it was real --they knew it wasn't and that was esp. confirmed when we heard the drug-sniffing dog sniffing heavily into a locker outside my door.
At one point I did let them get up and stretch and sit back in their seats. I have some very tall juniors who were feeling the crampedness of the corner where we hid.
The thing that is most disturbing is that there is no way to make folks go through the office--they'd have to blast a hole in a brick wall. Our front doors are unlocked because we are short-staffed and parents and kids come and go plus delivery men. We lock the side doors but the front and back doors are open and the boiler room which is the custodians' room is always wide open.
We are in the middle of nowhere---no swat teams could get there under 30 minutes at best scenario.

I don't live in fear, because I know that even with security, bad things happen. You can't stay locked up in your home and not go to a mall or McDonalds or school, etc. It's just---sigh---so sad.

I remember the kid two years ago, who I talked to when I realized something was really not right with him that morning. Here he was contemplating suicide. I got him to the office and help and he's on medication--lithium--for his mental issues.
He told me that day that he wanted to go home and play video games. I asked him if that helped with his anger. (He had already told me he was extremely angry.)
He replied, "Yes, I take out my anger by shooting at video people."
I lightened it up some by saying, "So we should all be grateful that you play your video games?" (I said it more like a question.)
He gave me a rueful smile that made my chest tighten.

It's a mind-boggling world we live in.