I couldn’t write about the tragedy before. I just didn’t know what to say. I sat down to write so many times and just couldn’t start with a single word. I feel so broken for the families who lost a loved one during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
I have personal feelings that just aren’t going away because my daughter who attends Middle school just a mile from the High School was texting me that she was under a desk and watching the scene live streaming on CNN the day it happened. She was scared that there was a second shooter and he was going to another school-maybe her school. I tried to calm her, but only as calmly as I could text, I was not calm myself while I sat streaming the live video over my work computer and watching the officers take bodies out of the local High School. I just kept texting her that she was safe and keep her phone on her. When she finally got home after 6:30pm, she ran to my arms in our driveway and just hugged me.
Now understand, the schools have practiced “code reds” many times over the years and she would always tell me about how the other kids would lose control and break down, but she was always able to remain calm.
This time she was not calm at all. She was so scared that she kept dropping her phone while texting me hiding under the desk and had to text my son trying to reach me. She slept in my bed for almost a week having nightmares about the scene that she had gone through. I can’t imagine the High Schoolers who had to go back to the scene of the crime.
Some of my friends did not speak to their kids about the situation, but I felt that we needed to talk about what had just happened and what could be done better in the future. Tips I saw on tv included using your bookbag to block an active shooter if you are backed into a corner and to keep a small door stop in your bookbag to block the door if an active shooter is going from room to room. I really wasn’t a fan of that tip because how do people get in to save you if you have blocked the door to keep people out. I reminded her to always keep her phone on and on silent so that I could track her and see where she was, but a ringer wouldn’t alert someone of where she was. Was I really having this conversation with my twelve year old? I was saddened.
This has got to stop. Especially in this instance, I truly believe this could have been prevented and 17 lives could have been saved. The killer had posted on social media what he was going to do and had told people. His foster family knew that he was depressed and had just gone through the death of his own mom a few months before this school tragedy. Why was he allowed to have so many assault rifles and ammunition when he was 18 years old and had been kicked out of the High School for disciplinary reasons. Every television channel I watched said that anyone that knew the kid knew something was wrong with him. The FBI had been called on him and the police had been to his house many, many times so where did the system fail?
I don’t feel that everyone’s guns should be taken away from them, but why does anyone need assault rifles? What has happened to a waiting period and a background check? How many times does this sort of thing have to happen before someone puts laws into place to allow agencies to speak to each other and ban this type of occurrence. Schools need more security until we can get the laws into place.
Meanwhile I hug and kiss my daughter every day as I send her to school. We bought hoodies and tees for the Douglas, “Parkland Strong” movement where all the proceeds went to the families, but it seems like there is more that we should be able to do.
What do you think could be done in this situation? If you have a comment, please leave it below and I will publish it. Meanwhile blessings to all of our children who have to go to school in fear for their lives when they should just be kids, learning and developing friendships.