Slice of Life Tuesday:In the shadow of Sandy Hook

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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.




13 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday:In the shadow of Sandy Hook

  1. I can think about this and not think about this all day long. I am still in shock that this is our America now. That we have children who are gunned down in our schools in AMERICA. That has always been the horrors of Israel or some place in a country I had never heard of. The closeness home feels so much more visceral.

  2. Thanks for writing and sharing this post. It helps to hear your frustration along with your hope, inspired by your students. More often, I only feel the frustration…

  3. I just don’t get it. We are not stupid people, are we? Why can’t we make peace, make this stop? And it just gets closer and closer to home. I refuse to live in fear. I will raise children who are kind. Yet, in so many ways, I feel totally helpless.

  4. As long as students have thoughtful teachers like you, Tara, there will always be the light of hope burning in the world and change will come about as each one of these students take that light out into the world as adults.

  5. When Sandy Hook happened I thought something had to come out of it. But all that keeps happening is more of the same. This issue came very close to our neighborhood recently. Unfortunately, the news media blazes hot for a week then once the victims are buried, so is the issue. What it does to our children is a constant worry. We want them to feel safe, but if they think about it, how can they? Live in denial or fear. I refuse fear. Who can live in that. We must at least acknowledge these moments in reflection. I so appreciate you bringing this to light for us and your students.

  6. You make me feel hope, Tara. Thank you for keeping the students talking and inviting their questions. This is a lovely tribute to those lost at Sandy Hook, and sadly, since then, too. Now I am too aware that I must think of the future of my grandchildren, and trying to make it different for them.

  7. You’ve got me choked-up here, Tara. And you give me hope. We have to make a better world for these kids. I can’t even imagine the fear they must walk around with.
    We are so careful not to have the TV or news radio on in Isabelle’s presence. She walks around in a state of blissful ignorance to the scary parts of society. I know I can’t protect her like this forever, but for now, why does she need to know about all of the terror in this world?
    Why don’t we have a moment of silence to mark the tragic passing of those 26 precious souls?

  8. We had our drills when I was in school, but I don’t think the seriousness of them hit home the way the drills and lock down do for students today. Hopefully the students of today will realize that something has to be done to make the world a safer place and they will be able to do what we have not.

  9. I love finding people who can appreciate children’s thoughts and who are smart enough to know that adults don’t always have an answer. So happy to have stumbled upon your writing.

  10. This seems to be a scary time, doesn’t it? Last week, the principal handed out backpacks filled with supplies we might need in case a shooter comes into our schools. We had our first crisis drill and will have an evacuation drill in the spring. It makes me sad that we have come to this. Thank goodness we have kids asking these questions. They give us hope.

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