This past Friday I was on a field trip with our freshman class to Six Flags. It was a gorgeous day, the kids were behaving remarkably well, and all seemed right with the world. I should tell you that the rest of our school, grades 6-8, were at a park for our annual middle school picnic. Only one other teacher and I were with our very small group of freshmen.
Saturday morning I got up at my normal time (obscenely early) and started browsing through Facebook. I came across a post from another of our teachers that was posted Friday. Now I have to tell you, Six Flags is this strange little wonderland where internet service is spotty, and there isn’t anywhere to charge your phone. Plus, let’s be honest, if you’re there you should be enjoying it and not playing on your phone. So I was blissfully unaware of the events that took place Friday morning in Sante Fe, Texas.
Until that post.
I couldn’t breathe. It said that our little school family had lost a member of their own family in that devastating tragedy. A coworker had lost a mom, and one of my students lost a grandmother.
The world got frighteningly small in that moment.
I immediately turned on the news to get more information, but to my surprise, I only saw coverage of the royal wedding. For hours. Don’t get me started.
Now I’m an extremely emotional person on any given day, just ask my husband, but when I realized the magnitude of what had befallen that school and every person that loved a person at that school, well, I just had to cry. You see, it could have been any one of us.
After the shooting in Florida in February, we did lockdown drills as I’m sure every other school in America did, and I had a couple of kids who weren’t giving those moments the respect they should have been. I got angry with them. I chastised them, and so did the vice principal. I knew that people had to lose their lives to create the reason for these drills, but teenagers don’t always understand the gravity of situations like these.
But they do now.
One of our own was lost. And it’s too much. You see, my brother and I are both teachers. Many of my very best friends are teachers. They are spread out all over the state and the country. And it could have been any one of them.