Monday marked the three year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre. Everything seemed to change that day for those of us who teach and are entrusted with children to safeguard during the school day… and yet nothing has changed.
We still go into lock down drills once a month, and evacuation drills every two.
We still have conversations with our kids every time there is another mass shooting and they ask: are we safe? how will you keep us safe if something happens? why does this keep happening?
Yes, we say, you are safe and we will keep you safe. As for that third question, I have no answers. In the three years since Sandy Hook, we as a nation have done nothing to make sure such events don’t keep happening.
For our children, growing up in the shadow of both 9/11 and Sandy Hook, the world must so often seem like a terrifying and senseless place. How else could people fly airplanes into buildings, or walk into an elementary school with guns blazing?
Today, a student wondered why we didn’t have a moment of silence to remember the fallen of Sandy Hook, the way we do every September 11th. It’s just as big a deal, isn’t it? he asked. Again, I didn’t have an answer. Grownups just don’t seem to have the answers any more, and at all.
But we have the children, and they are paying attention. They will make a better world.