Mom and I have kept this page strictly informational about our teaching lives. But as most people know, it is hard to completely separate work and reality. I think as teachers, it becomes even harder when we give our hearts to those tiny souls who walk through our doors five days a week.
That’s why I am torn up. I’m not sure about even posting this, but I need an outlet to process my thoughts. On Wednesday, there was yet another school shooting. And I am feeling all sorts of emotions.
First and foremost, I am heartbroken. 17 people lost their lives on a day they thought was just like any other. Well, not even any other regular day. It was Valentine’s Day, a day to celebrate love, love to our partners, love to our families, love to our friends, love to anyone and everyone. But instead, it was a day of loss and mourning.
I am frustrated. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE. After reading newspaper articles and reading Facebook posts and instagram pictures, it is apparent that the rational-thinking OF BOTH SIDES agree something needs to change. The United States, the home of the free and home of the brave, leads the WORLD in death by shootings. How is this something we can be proud of when patriotism is one of our great idealisms? Things need to change, policy needs to change, support needs to be put in place. So these are my thoughts.
I believe in gun control. I believe that background checks should be incredibly strict. I also believe that no civilian should have access to an assault weapon. I DO NOT believe that TEACHERS should have to CARRY in their schools. Schools are and should be safe havens for all who enter those doors.
I also believe in mental health reform. I believe that mental health is as important as physical health and should be taken just as seriously. I believe that in order to go into a school, movie theater, ANYWHERE, with the intention to kill means that there is something mentally wrong with that person. I believe in taking bullying and violence seriously as an educator and ensuring my students receive the supports they need as soon as they need it.
Truthfully, I am also scared. The schools I go into have security checks but that hasn’t stopped students from trying to smuggle in a gun before at different schools across the nation. I am scared because I have many family members in the education world and we are living in a world where school shootings are becoming regular. I am scared for them, I am scared for my students (past and present), I am scared for my friends, I am scared for myself.
This time, I am motivated. I am tired of this being our norm. I am tired of watching the news and seeing scared students run out of their building. I am tired of seeing the Prayers and Thoughts posts circulate and then fade out. I am ready to see change. I am ready to fight with other educators and people who are as equally frustrated and scared and motivated as I am.