This week, we returned to school following the tragic shooting in Connecticut that targeted first graders and left a community – and parents everywhere – reeling. And, what was the result in our county? A “previously scheduled” lockdown drill and a rash of threatened copycats for the Friday before Christmas break. What kind of a self-centric outlook does it take to turn someone’s deep, heart-breaking tragedy into a personal bid for power? Clearly, some kids with too much time on their hands and compassion that was 10-sizes-too-small saw this as an opportunity to capitalize and perhaps get an extra day of vacation.
In my school, just over 1/3 of the school population turned up today. In fact, many of my students were incredulous when told I was planning to attend. I told them that: A) Like the government, I refuse to negotiate with terrorists; and 2) I am in possession of a logical mind. Even in the school that was targeted by an obviously delusional gunman, 25 were killed in the building. The loss of these young children, their teachers, principal, and guidance counselor is terrifying, awful, and tremendously sad. However, most elementary schools house hundreds of small students and the staff that teaches and supports them. In the midst of carnage, hundreds escaped. So, statistically, I’m probably still safer attending school than, say, crossing a busy mall parking lot.
What disturbs me most? The horrible devastation in Connecticut of course, but a close second is the megalomaniacal mind that would seek to capitalize on a tragedy.