Chalk drawings only remain until it rains. Their innocence and beauty are fleeting.As Friday’s news flashed on my computer screen in the middle of the day, I couldn’t bring myself to read it while I was still in school.Our students were celebrating the end of the semester parties even though classes would still meet on Monday and Tuesday.So Monday morning we return and for someone who usually has more than enough words, I’m feeling totally inadequate.All I have are questions, questions that won’t be asked or answered by newscasters, interviews or political rhetoric.Political fighting over whether we should have access to guns is not going to help these families or bring back the innocence and sense of safety six and seven – year olds are entitled to feel.My questions are more introspective. Would I have had the strength to do what needed to be done at that moment? I think the answer is I would have done anything to protect children in my care. In our schools, we are well-trained to take action to thwart intruders, but in our hearts do we believe someone would come to hurt us? Until Friday, my answer would have been no.Having completed CERT training which involves triage, fire stoppage, search and rescue , all targeted towards natural disasters, you feel fairly in control.I have updated CPR , AED training, and first aid. I don’t think any of this would have helped on Friday. No one trains you to deal with a madman holding a gun who hurts children.
So tomorrow, I need to go to school with answers for my gifted children. They are great questioners, but truly there are no clear answers.Talk is not going to change what happened. Actions need to. Our society has developed into one which no longer knows how to deal with anger . Revenge, getting back bigger and better for perceived wounds seems to be the answer for so many who haven’t learned how to handle anger. Compassion for those who are different is lacking in so many and causes feelings of disenfranchisement to grow.
So the questions are those we need to ask ourselves: How do we treat and perceive others? How can we heal rifts? How can we be sure our families know they are loved each day? Am I the kind of person who would run towards the danger to save others? Can I develop the relationships that would enable others to trust and follow me? The only world we have is the one we live in at this point in time, but everyday we can work to make it better.That is all the control we can have, and we owe it to ourselves and those children and adults who had their answers.