"If the gunman shoots your teacher and principal, listen to the nice policeman and get yourselves out of the building.”

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My friend "TexasBetsy" sent this to me today while we were chatting. She has graciously permitted me to share it with you: 

If you're interested, here's my take: As an elementary school teacher, I am used to talking to students about fears. Many of my students are afraid of the world ending next week. A few are afraid of homelessness or of a parent being deported. Most are afraid of teenagers. They’re all afraid of ghosts and half are afraid of clowns or dolls. Whatever.

And now another school shooting? I don’t know all the details of what happened today in Connecticut, but the NYT indicates that the shooter was the son of a teacher at the school, and that his mother was one of those shot. Good God! How do I explain THAT to them on Monday morning? And how do I then introduce them to MY adult son, who comes home from college on Tuesday?

This gun culture IS the terrorism we’re supposed to be worried about. It’s not from overseas, it’s not perpetrated by Muslims or foreigners. It’s run-of-the-mill adult young men who shoot others in great numbers.

If it scares me as an adult teacher, what fear must it be sending to my precious students? Who is safe anymore? Do we install metal detectors outside the kindergarten rooms?

And when is it OK to start talking about putting the lives of our children ahead of the right of every American to own an automatic weapon? And do I need to add to our emergency plan “And if the gunman shoots your teacher and principal, then listen to the nice policeman and get yourselves out of the building safely.”

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