Four years ago today, twenty six lives were stolen at an elementary school. I think about the families whose lives were hijacked often when I look at my kids. And when I am feeling like I am a terrible mother and undeserving of them. And when my Facebook feed shows me pictures of what I posted years ago. I think of the mothers and fathers and sisters and cousins and aunts and friends and what it must feel like to have someone you cherish snatched from you. It leaves me breathless.
Today, our school, along with countless others will participate in a “code red drill”. Somewhat controversial, this practice will simulate what teachers, staff and students should do in the event of an emergency. Doors will be locked, shades drawn and kids will be corralled into the safest spots of the classroom. We are an emergency services family and it still unsettles our kids.
A call and email when out from the school to notify parents that the drill would take place today – which allows for open communication and I am incredibly grateful for that. However, at drop off today I overheard a few parents vocally opposing the practice. It was unduly stressful, they said and unnecessary so close to the holidays…
What I know about Sandy Hook is that six women died protecting as many students as they possibly could. Twelve little girls and eight little boys had their futures cut unforgivably short in that violent act and I firmly believe anyone who learned of it lost at the very least a little innocence. Those twenty six people could have been “my” people or “your” people but are forevermore going to be “our” people. The images and the aftermath haunt us all and I can only imagine the nearly suffocating toll it took on the first responders.
That is why we drill. We practice this seemingly terrifying protocol because in an emergency, God-forbid, people will almost always fall to their level of training. I can understand the sadness that exists in knowing this is a reality, but I support the countless people and agencies that prepare and continually practice and reevaluate procedures to keep kids safe. Thank you for your tireless effort.
In memory of: Charlotte Bacon- Daniel Barden – Rachel Davino – Olivia Engel – Josephine Gay – Ana M. Marquez-Greene- Dylan Hockley- Dawn Hochsprung – Madeleine F. Hsu- Catherine V. Hubbard – Chase Kowalski – Jesse Lewis – James Mattioli – Grace McDonnell – Anne Marie Murphy – Emilie Parker – Jack Pinto- Noah Pozner- Caroline Previdi- Jessica Rekos- Avielle Richman- Lauren Rousseau- Mary Sherlach- Victoria Soto- Benjamin Wheeler- Allison N. Wyatt