Thursday, September 28, 2006

HS Shooting

Since when has going to school become more dangerous than, say, walking down the sidewalk in Denver? It seems that with in the last decade, High Schools around the nation have become targets for murderers. And the recent shooting in the little mountain town of Bailey, Colorado illustrates this point.

Yesterday afternoon, a man walked into a classroom with a gun, told the children he had a bomb in his jacket, lined them up at the blackboard, and then proceeded down the line choosing who would stay and who could go. Sick.

Not having lived in Colorado during the Columbine disaster (another small town not too far from the most recent shooting), I watched in horror as the scenes unfolded on CNN, but felt relief that I lived half-way across the country. Though schools everywhere prepared themselves for such a disaster and cautioned teachers about unusual situations and how they should react, I don’t think anybody ever thought that school shooting would become a norm in this nation. Especially not in small, remote towns such as Bailey.

But now I live in Colorado. I live about 2 ½ hours due South from Bailey…on the same highway no doubt. I’ve driven by the school countless times also on my way North to visit friends, Rodeo, go shopping… I work in a small mountain school also. And this has really unnerved me. What’s stopping somebody from walking into my school and doing the exact same thing? Why do I feel like the school should be paying to send teachers to special training? Training that concentrates on how to react if someone should walk into your classroom with a gun?

I am a teacher for God’s sake. I am here to teach! I also feel it is my duty to keep my students from having to encounter a dangerous situation, and though I don’t know what I would do if some stranger walked in here with a gun, I know I’d do my best to keep my students safe. This is scary.

This is not something I was prepped for when studying to become a teacher. This is not something that was ever mentioned when I accepted the job. This is not something, as a teacher, I should even be stressing about. But I am. I am because somehow our society has fallen so low that we are no longer even safe in our institutions of learning. We have fallen so low that the most innocent in this world have become major targets.

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