I really debated about posting this today, but it moved me so much that I had to. There is a voice that still needs heard from the aftermath of Florida’s Mass shooting tragedy. That is the teacher’s voice. I have several friends that are teachers and if its ever been a scary time to be a teacher, its now!
In Florida 2 teachers also died that horrible day, while trying to protect their students. You have heard that at other school shootings as well. These teachers dedicated their lives to teaching kids, to helping them to reach their full potential. I doubt that they ever dreamed that someday they would be giving their lives for their students!
The following is written from the heart of a teacher. She was just venting her feelings in a post and since then it has gone viral. You may have already seen it, but for those who didn’t and in honor of all the teachers out there I give you this. Words from a broken heart.
In 7th period, out of nowhere today, the fire alarms at my school went off. My students stood up as they always do when the alarm goes off for drills.
My brain immediately went into robot mode. I recalled the incident from yesterday like a mathematician calculating a problem on a whiteboard. Zero emotions. Zero fear.
“Wait,” I said, holding up my hand. The kids froze. “Let’s sit for now,” I said calmly. They sat, looking at me in terror.
“What if it’s like—!!!” One child cried out, but I turned, shook my head, and kept my hand held out.
“It’s not. Probably someone pulled the alarm. It’s okay. Let’s just wait.”
We waited. I kept eye contact with the teacher in the classroom across the hall from me. We both shook our heads.
Then I waited to hear gunshots.
Do you hear me?
I stood in front of your children and I waited to hear gunshots.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT????
I didn’t want to put them in lockdown just yet. Calmness and control is the only defense I have against a room of panicked teenagers. I turned and I looked every single one of them in the eyes and I nodded my head reassuringly. You are my babies. I have you. I have you.
I kept glancing across at the teacher across from me. He shook his head. We stayed still.
Suddenly, I saw our guidance counselor in the hallway. She beckoned for us to come out. I stuck my head out and said “it’s safe?” She said “Yes, let’s go out.”
“Come on, guys,” I said. “It’s all right. We can go outside.”
They behaved wonderfully. They followed me out calmly, we evacuated, and then we stood outside for 30 minutes while fire trucks and police cars checked out our building. It was a faulty alarm. Everyone was safe.
I took my children back inside. We had a successful drill. Everyone was safe. I even made a point to update parents and community that we were all safe.
The kids left, chatting excitedly how they missed half a class period.
I sat at my desk.
My little sister came in to say goodbye for the day and I lost it. Sobbing, snot coming out, face burning, nauseated.
I was waiting to hear gunshots. I was waiting to hide my kids. I was waiting for the shots.
I’m home and I’m angry.
I stood in front of your kids and waited to die for them.
I STOOD IN FRONT OF YOUR KIDS AND WAITED TO DIE FOR THEM!
(Shared with permission from Stephanie Kuzy Jenkins , image via JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty)