Another school shooting…seventeen dead. Three faculty and 14 students. I see the posts talking about these kids and these staff members and I cannot seem to process the reality without making it about me.
Before this latest incident in Florida, there are many times I’ve stood in my school cafeteria (where I work) and wondered just how chaotic it would be in the event of an active threat.
During lunch I have 200 kids at a time in the cafeteria…I know I cannot save them all.
Our drills are always at mundane times (during class periods when everybody is where they are supposed to be.
What if it happens when I have a full cafeteria? Some kids eating, some still getting food, others already finished and dumping their trays, and yet others already gone to the gym. Then what?
My son now goes to my school…
Would I instinctively run to save him first? What if it’s not his lunch period? Would I be able save the kids I have come to know and love? What if I don’t know where my son is in the school at that time?
Thankfully I am confident that every staff member he would encounter would do their best to save him as I would try to save his friends.
My heart hurts for those seventeen families who have now made funeral arrangements for track stars, band geeks, math wizards, fathers, husbands, class clowns, and quiet ones.
Every time I see another story about Assistant Football Coach Aaron Feis, I find myself nodding my head…yep, I would have too. I would shield as many students as possible…or I’d like to think so anyway.
I guess the one bit of comfort I have in all of this is that I have built such solid relationships with so many students, I am hopeful that if an incident were to happen in ‘my cafeteria’ that many of them would instinctively run for my protection, and follow directions as they trust me. I dunno, maybe I think to highly of myself…they are still children…they may very well scatter like practice pucks do when they are dropped on the ice.
I come to You pleading for grace as I muddle through the emotional consequences of this latest tragedy. Help me to remember that being prepared helps alleviate fear when tragedy strikes.
Give me the tools and the relationships to know what to do and when to do it. Not only in the case of an active threat but also in the many cases of seemingly inactive threats to our students; the depression, the bullying, the cutting, the anger, the silent screams.
Give my children staff members they can run to for all their needs when I cannot be there.
Grant peace and comfort to those grieving their loss.
As my boys are both not feeling physically well, help me to meet their every need medically, emotionally, and spiritually. Give them rest to overcome these illnesses.