And So I Hope

[written in response to the Perry Hall High School shooting on August 27, 2012]

As the daughter of an employee at the school that has been on everyone’s lips today, a graduate of that very institution and an educator who was in the front of a classroom at the time of the shooting at Perry Hall, I am thoroughly shaken. To the core. In fact, I am shaken to a depth I didn’t realize was possible.

Disbelief. Fear. Confusion. Betrayal. Anger. –at how this could happen again/here/ at all. We have seen repeatedly in this country that schools are not the safe havens they should be for our kids, and today, in the building where I learned about the Columbine shootings as a 10th grader, Perry Hall made national news with its own shooting. I hate it in a way only the sorrowful can.

Yet I am grateful that in the midst of this horror, the heart of humanity yet again proved itself to be pure. And loving. And selfless. I pray that if ever faced with a similar situation, I will show the courage and nobility of the faculty and staff at PHHS today. For me, they have redefined “hero.”But I hope to never have to show such courage and nobility. I know it’s naiive, but as I stood in front of my students today, I said a silent prayer: “Please, let the fact that so many of them live in and travel through seeming war zones daily just to get here will somehow, in some way, make this a safe place for them. Always.”

And so I hope.

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