Friday morning as I was sitting in a Family and Consumer Science classroom substitute teaching and the students were working on their sewing projects, I was casually scrolling through Facebook. I noticed a friend of mine's status was something along the lines of "Shooting kindergartners?? Really?!"
My entire body went cold and I just knew it was bad.
I then went to Twitter because I knew I would get the most up to date news there and that is when I found out the horrible news. I looked up and one of the kids looked back at me, and I must have looked pale because he asked what was wrong. I just smiled meekly and said nothing. A few minutes later everyone in the class was aware of what just happened due to their own phones buzzing on their desks. These students were older of course, all sophomores, juniors and seniors. They have seen bad things happen, many directly to them. I did not address it with the class, I just allowed them to take a break from their assignments to watch You Tube videos, text loved ones or scroll through Twitter and Facebook.
I got left off easy.
But, what will all the kindergarten teachers say to their kids tomorrow morning? How can this possibly be explained? My heart breaks for all of the families missing their loved ones right now. My heart breaks for the family of Adam Lanza. My heart breaks for the children who are undoubtedly terrified to return to school tomorrow. I picture the kindergarten students I will be working with next semester in my student teaching placement and I consistently have to fight back tears. Obviously God has plans, but this just is not fair. Life is not fair. I can only take solace in knowing that the 28 people that lost their lives Friday morning are in a better place and at least those young children were able to go to heaven together.
As I sat in that classroom looking around at the students I just met that day, I wondered what battles they are fighting. Do they have everything they need? Obviously Adam Lanza did not. I am not pointing fingers, but clearly someone dropped the ball here. To be able to commit such a heinous act, you have to be completely out of your mind. To give in to the devil so terribly, so horribly gruesome and heartless your mind is no longer yours and is in the possession of something much more evil. But, on the other hand, could it have been prevented? Absolutely. What mental help was he receiving? What was he not receiving? We have come a long way in treating mental illness, but we have so much further to go.
This school did everything right. There was nothing more they could have done. The office staff was clearly very smart and they saved lives by turning on the intercom so the entire building could hear what was going on in that office and take cover. What else needs to be done though? I have wracked my brain and gone as far as saying every school needs metal detectors. Every school needs security and weapons. Is that really what we have come to?
And clearly, yes, we have. We live in a scary world.