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December 15, 2012

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Flannista

My heart hurts.

Sometimes Gummy Bear can't have your back.

treesta

Good morning, Flann. What to say? I'm here.

Flannista

It's during tragedies such as these that a simple, "I'm here" is such a blessing.

We're here. Some no longer are.

Flannista

Yesterday, shortly after I sat down to share a Christmas luncheon with treesta, her principal and another colleague at the elementary school -- a teacher came bolting in and said something to the principal. Without hesitation, she, treesta (who later said, "I saw the look in her eyes") and their colleague ran from the room. I mean -- RAN -- from the room.

I later learned that one of the students had had a seizure and had knocked herself out while falling.

I can't get out of my head and heart the image of treesta, the principal and their colleague running from the room. Three administrators running toward some unknown danger -- without hesitation -- running toward some unknown danger.

Less than two hours later, I would hear the story of three school administrators in an elementary school in Connecticut running toward some unknown danger -- without hesitation.

The image haunts me. Inspires me. Makes me say a prayer.

Flannista

Why doesn't this country bestow Purple Hearts on teachers and school administrators? Where's their equivalent of the G.I. Bill?

treesta

I keep thinking about Dawn Hochsprung, the principal at Sandy Hook, who with the school psychologist and assistant principal, got up and ran toward the sound of gunfire in an attempt to protect their kids. I surely do not know if I would have the courage to run toward such imminent danger. The news articles say 6 adults in the school died, which means several other adults jumped up and ran to help the kids. The thought of them jumping up and running into a hail of gunfire haunts me. The thoughts of the teachers in that school, pulling children out of the hallway and the path of gunfire, pulling children into bathrooms and cubbies and corners, maintaining a brave face and a calm demeanor for their kids, haunts me. And yes, makes me say a prayer.

PEACEsista

I cannot think of a school principal who could live with themselves afterwards, if children were being murdered in their school and they did not try to witness and stop the violence themselves.

But, courage? Surely, it takes unwavering courage to move towards gunfire. Most of us will never be tested in that way and if we were, we might be the ones saying, "I dialed 9-1-1 immediately," our best response when finding that we lacked the courage to take a bullet in an effort to save a life.

treesta

You are right, PEACE. I cannot think of a principal either who could live with themselves if they did not try to stop the violence. I hope I am never tested in that way, and I pray for those who were tested in that way yesterday - those who survived and those who did not.

treesta

The stories of the adults who died protecting their child are beginning to come out...

the principal and psychologist, Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach, who jumped up from their meeting upon hearing gunfire and ran to the commotion. Ms. Hochsprung yelled back for everyone to lock their doors before confronting the gunman...

the 1st grade teacher, Vicki Leigh Soto, who hid her children in closets and cupboards before confronting the gunman as he entered the classroom, telling him that her children were in PE in the gym. He shot and killed her, and moved on to the next room...

the custodian who ran from room to room, locking the doors from the inside, preventing the gunman from entering more rooms...

the teacher who saw a child in the hallway as the gunfire was approaching, went in the hallway and pulled the child into her classroom...

the unknown individual in the front office who turned on the PA system, allowing everyone in the building to hear the commotion and gunfire, allowing them to lock their doors and get their children to safety...

all demonstrating the unwavering courage to confront the bullets and the evil coming their way.

Flannista

Hadn't heard a couple of these stories, treesta. Thanks for sharing them here.

Flannista

Am just now learning that most of the children killed were First Graders.

I have no words.

treesta

I am just now watching news video footage of the survivors, their families and the parents of the children. Robbie Parker, the father of six year old Emilie Parker, spoke with such grace despite the enormous weight of his grief. My goodness...

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