I have been in a daze about what happened all day. It is hard to describe how scared I feel during a lockdown or how angered I am after a school shooting.
“In retrospect, Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.” ~ Dan Hodges.
After every school shooting, my students undoubtedly ask the same questions and have the same remarks: 'What would you do Ms.- would you save us?' or 'We would need to barricade the door! Or jump out the window!' My archery students often say they would help protect the class.
I have had that same conversation year after year, and it hurts.
Our children are scared and incredibly frustrated that this keeps happening. They should be focused on school learning, not school shootings.
I worry that my daughter will be brought up in a culture of lockdowns and school shootings. I worry about our smallest, most sensitive children that are distraught every time we have a lockdown- or even worse an actual shooting so close to home.
I was in middle school when Columbine happened and sadly so little has changed.
But the biggest question I have been asking myself - as a potential School Board member, what can I do to increase the wellbeing and safety of our children?
We must invest in social-emotional supports for our children. Our teachers are the front line of defense to a student who is struggling. We must allow our teachers to truly build relationships and connect with their students- how do we do that?
Our teachers must stay in the profession in order to be effective at building relationships and teaching (students do not trust or open up to you if they know that you will just leave the following year). Yet, too often our teachers either do not stay in DPS or they do not stay in the profession.
I am not a safety or security expert. Just as I have said that I am tired of vapid slogans about education from people who have never taught a single class, I am also aware that I will need to listen to the advice of experienced professionals regarding school safety. As a School Board member I will do exactly that.