Friday, December 14, 2012

Newtown CT school shooting

Sporadic posting here is a consequence of my workload, which has been intense. However, I am now totally distracted and upset by the school shooting that happened today in Newtown, CT. My immediate and wild worries were on behalf of my sister, who teaches at Newtown High School. That this horrible event happened at an elementary school and not the high school made me worry less about my sister (though I cannot even imagine what her students and fellow teachers are going through) but it's still terrible--not even sure how terrible. I am listening to live feed from Hartford's NBC station and the situation is still unclear, other than us knowing that someone came into Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire at 9:30 this morning.

My thoughts are mostly still with families and teachers in Newtown. Perhaps I feel this more acutely than reports of other school shootings through the years because of my sister, and because I am from Brookfield, one of the towns that borders Newtown. But I am also feeling it because at 9:30 this morning, I was at my own kids' elementary school to give a tour to prospective parents. I sat in the lobby and watched people come in and out, most of them buzzed in by the watchful office staff, but not all. I was thinking then that it's so easy to come in and out of the building; just follow someone else who is entering. At that time of day, adults are coming in to schools at a rapid clip, and not all are known to school staff, however watchful they may be. I had no idea how relevant my idle school safety thoughts would be when I got back into my car at 10:45 and heard a report about this horrible tragedy on the radio.

And the aftermath...I would guess that all districts have some sort of emergency management plan to deal with this. But as a parent, I am not sure what ours is. I cannot even really get my head around something like this happening at my kids' school. I can't go there. But when I think about what would happen afterward, the idea that you cannot immediately get to your kids and make sure they're okay is terrifying. I hope that one good thing that comes out of this is an increased awareness of what we, as parents, should do if God forbid something happened.

My heart goes out to everyone affected by this. And even as I write, I just heard the news that 27 people died. 18 kids. I can't even go on.

Please, if this upsets you, if you want the violence that guns cause to end, donate to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Thank you.