I Cried With The News Tonight

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.

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About Timothy Gwynn

Tim is an Instructional Technology Facilitator in North Carolina by way of Arizona. His transcontinental experience gives him the unique ability to not only appreciate a well made glass of sweet tea, but also spell the plural form of cactus without hesitation. He currently works at a K-5 school and is passionate about Educational Technology. Tweet him at @tgwynn.
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15 Responses to I Cried With The News Tonight

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention I Cried With The News Tonight | edtech state of mind -- Topsy.com

  2. Mike says:

    Tim,
    The world of education has changed so much. We are no longer only worried about teaching the children how to learn their core subject areas, but also how to get along in the world. It’s important to let the kids know you truly care about them. As you speak to the kids, I’m sure they know it. Dialogue is the key.

    • Tim Gwynn says:

      Mike,
      I agree with you. That is what saddens me most about the pressures of education with testing and performance. The humanity is lost as kids becomes values based on how they perform, not because they are kids and inherently, they are priceless.

  3. Powerful Tim! Thank you for writing, sharing and opening
    eyes! I know what a great job you do and I am sure that there are
    many lives positively touched by you!

  4. ktenkely says:

    I did too. I hate that this has become an ongoing problem.
    I hate that kids get to the point where they belive that violence
    and death are the only answers. I hate the devistation and
    heartache that spreads as a result. I hate that we strip kids of
    individuality and humanity every day as we force through a system
    where they are all spit out looking the same. When does that
    stop?

    • Tim Gwynn says:

      I agree with you Kelly that when we stop focusing on students as a whole, we miss so many opportunities to help them deal with issues, offer support when they need it, and figure out life. Every student needs to be praised for being who they are and we need to support the whole child.

  5. Michelle Baldwin says:

    Thank you for writing this post, Tim. I want to share this
    with my friends and colleagues so they will know just how much
    support is out there.

    • Tim Gwynn says:

      Michelle, I originally wrote this to get my thoughts and emotions outs. Tragedies at school have always been difficult for me to deal with since I started working in education. I’m thankful that some of those affected first hand can see they aren’t the only ones hurting that that we’re here to support South Millard.

  6. Kathy Perret says:

    This is beautiful! You put into words many of the same
    thoughts I had last night when I heard the news of this horrific
    event. Living close to the area, I personally have friends in the
    Omaha area. I know they are hurting. But now, through my
    connections on Twitter I had a whole new group of friends to think
    about. Twitter friends I have never met in person yet feel so
    connected to. The hurt becomes much more real to know of the raw
    emotions behind the event. I cried last night & I’m crying
    now. Peace to all affected by this both personally and through the
    news.

    • Tim Gwynn says:

      Kathy, thank you for those words. I agree, Twitter has helped me connect to educators in such a way that I feel we are all colleagues workings together. We share our successes, failures, and even pain.

  7. Sharon Comisar-Langdon says:

    Tim, Thank you. I cannot adequately express how much your
    thoughts, your concern, your care means. And thank you Michelle for
    sharing Tim’s post. I would have missed it had you not sent it to
    me. I spent the day at Millard South yesterday as the staff and
    students returned for their first day back. I can tell you there is
    no other place I would have rather been. Millard South was the best
    place to be Friday. Our district leaders, our crisis team members,
    our Millard South staff, our students, our Omaha community….
    there are not enough words to capture how amazing everyone is. This
    is something that happens in other places, remote places where
    something went wrong. I can tell you that’s what I used to think
    and I can tell you that is not true. Everyone did everything right.
    All the way up to and beyond the point of no return. My heart
    breaks for the boy’s parents. My heart breaks for our community. My
    heart breaks for Curtis, his children and his wife. My heart breaks
    for Vicki and her family. Thank you Tim. I will no longer hear
    another news story the same. Thank you for giving me the
    opportunity to understand why through your words. I will be at
    Millard South on Monday and through the week. I look forward to
    being there. There is no better place to be.

    • Tim Gwynn says:

      Sharon, I’m so glad someone like is there during such a hard time. It brings me great joy to know that even in the midst of so much pain and confusion, South Millard is moving forward.

  8. Rex Barker says:

    Tim – Thanks for putting these words to paper. I am the band director at Millard South and with the tragedy and snow days we are just now getting back into our routines for this semester. The sentiments and support from everyone has been tremendous. This tragedy will make us stronger and it’s a test we must all pass…and Millard South will come through with flying colors! Go Patriots!

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