I sit at my computer reading about a school shooting in Omaha, Nebraska and I lose it. Tears. Sobs. Pain. My heart aches, even though I am over a thousand miles away. I don’t know what to do, but I know I just can’t accept it and move on. These are people. The lyrics to Jack Johnson’s The News come to mind. “A billion people died on the news tonight/ But not so many cried at the terrible sight.” This is a terrible sight. Humbly I turn to writing, I’m not sure how else to deal with this.
I find myself wondering how all the people affected are dealing with what has happened today. As an educator, I connect all too closely to those in Omaha at this time. Having friends close by, makes it hit home even harder.
I think about the kids. How unnerving to suddenly find yourself caught up in chaos, confusion, fear, and the unknown. Later, to discover that two of your own are gone, one is seriously injured and everyone around you is affected.
I think about the teachers. To feel so violated and helpless. The place filled with people you love, care for, and live your life with, will never be the same. Lives are changed. Lives are lost. To be so weak, but feel you must be strong. To need someone to be strong for you. I would imagine that I’d be filled with guilt and regret. Maybe there was something I could have said that would have made a difference. All the difference.
I think about Dr. Case and Dr. Kaspar. To be in that situation is nothing less than a nightmare. Dr. Case, I pray for your healing. Dr. Kaspar, you will be missed dearly by those that love you.
I think of the family members and friends of those that had to leave us far too soon. How do you deal? How do you move on?
I think about Robert. The truth that a child was broken and hurting so much that he felt the only option was to harm others and leave the world behind breaks my heart. I’m so sorry.
Where does the world go from here? For some it’s just a passing story on the nightly news. For others, everything is different now.
The thing I take from this, is a renewed perspective as an educator. Yes, I have a responsibility to educate, but it’s also clear I have a much more important task each day when I walk onto campus. I want my coworkers and the students around me to know they matter, they are have something to offer, and they are loved.
My heart and my prayers go out the everyone at Millard School, the district, and the surrounding community. I wish I could take your pain or be there for you. I wish I could do anything. So many of us are shedding tears too. It hurts, but know that you are loved. I wish you didn’t have to be on the news tonight.