They Were My Kids Too

It's not that I wasn't touched by the movie theatre shooting or the mall shooting or the temple shooting. I was  (How sad is it that I don't have to be specific in naming those events?). But today's shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut had me in front of my computer all day close to tears and tonight in front of my TV letting those tears fall.

It's not that those other shootings weren't horrific. They were.
It's not that those other shootings didn't affect me. They did.
It's not that those other shootings didn't leave families in mourning. They did.
But this was a school shooting.

And I am a teacher.

Those were MY kids.

That was MY classroom.

It doesn't matter that I teach high school kids and the victims were babies.


And I'm not sure that anyone who is not a teacher understands the depth of feelings in a teacher's heart tonight.

We have lock-down drills in my high school. Practice for something I hope I never have to face.

Cell phones off.
Lights off.
In a corner.
Blinds pulled.
Door locked.

"What happens if we are in the bathroom?"
"What if I'm in the hall?"
"What if I'm in the computer lab?"
"What if...?"
"What if....?"
"What if I get here after you shut the door? Will you let me in?"

I watched those teachers leading their kids out of the building. Thinking of what was going through their head. And I know what it was. And it wasn't about themselves.


  1. I feel the same way, Deb. It doesn't matter that I teach middle school. Or, that I teach in Canada. They were my kids too. I must say that I'm glad I didn't hear about the shootings until I got home from work today.

    1. School was tough, Mardie. Especially by afternoon. Some of my kids had heard the news. It was tough

  2. Mine too. You said it perfectly, Deb. Thank you.

  3. Wow Deb - you articulated what was in my heart.

    1. Thank-you. On days like this, all I can do is write what is in my heart.

  4. Me, too. Thanks for sharing my thoughts, exactly. We all grieve together.

    1. Thanks, Amy. We do grieve together. It's evident from Twitter and Facebook that I'm not the only teacher who feels like these were my kids.

    2. I mean "our kids". Well you know. We all connected.

  5. I wish I hadn't looked at Twitter until after school.

    1. Yea. Me too. One of the bad things about being so connected. Although, tonight, I am comforted to know I am not alone.

  6. Mine too. I teach kindergarten reading intervention every morning. Cannot even imagine that someone could hurt one of those sweet babies. My heart is broken.

  7. I couldn't comment last night. For me, I had to watch and watch. You wrote such a wonderful sentiment, Deb. We had our very first lockdown drill yesterday morning, while this was happening! It will be a challenge on Monday for the primary teachers especially to have the conversations when just Friday they were explaining that it was practice! We all, like everyone had a tough day trying to teach but also trying to get the news. Thank you for speaking for all of us.

    1. Oh, Linda. I can't imagine having a lockdown in the midst of this happening. I always find them a little scary/creepy as we are doing them on a normal day, even as I know that in this day and age they are absolutely necessary. When we first started having them with our students, I thought kids might not take them seriously. But they do. They know.

  8. Again, you capture the beauty within the ugliness of our world. It is a gift to articulate feelings the way you do. Thank you for sharing in such a way that we all feel the connection, feel the strength amongst us, instead of just feeling the pain and loss.

  9. I felt connected to Aurora...thinking of the young people at the movies. I felt connected to the mall...I lived in Portland many years and knew the area. I felt connected when it happened in a place of worship. Yet, you are right, this school, like other schools, touches us so deeply as teachers. I am in such awe of those teachers at Sandy Hook. I know, too, I work daily with teachers like them. I know my students are like their students, though our schools and neighborhoods could hardly be more different. Every child has such potential for the future. Every teacher, every school staff member touches the future daily. I pray the love that was there in that school that day will help the students and teachers, families and community move forward.

  10. This is one of the most powerful posts I've read about the shooting, Deb.

    I don't want to go into a long-winded comment other than to say your writing resonated with me because, like you, I am an educator and those were all our kids.


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