I’d like to think you have no idea what it’s like for people in Newtown, and especially our vulnerable Sandy Hook families, to get that reverse 911 call: the automatic alert set up for emergency school closures, in case of, you know, a snowstorm. Or a broken water pipe. Or a low-to-no threat bomb scare and subsequent evacuation.
But unfortunately, more and more and more of you do know what it’s like.
Tuesday, in fact, Facebook announced, and Twitter confirmed, not one, but two school shootings (Fern Creek High School, Louisville, KY, and Albemarle HS, Stanly County, NC) and suddenly, more people know our story, or some version of it. While I’m sure the local stations were all over Tuesday’s shootings, there was no national news coverage, because only a few were injured and no one died, so no longer news worthy, outside of the social media chatter that ate a hole in my soul all day long.
Wednesday though, was a new day. Until this call came in to parent’s phones all over town, and the world once again, stopped spinning:
We are better, and we are healing. Then we get this call, that horrible number on the caller ID that every single one of us is afraid to pick up.
“All children are safe. All staff are safe. However …” And with that, the scab ripped off, the wound exposed. I failed. Before the superintendent finished, I was puking in the bathroom.
But the Sandy Hook teachers, staff and students, they passed, and passed magnificently. Kids stayed cool and calm. Teachers professional, smooth and steady. Kids went home, parents at ease. Other schools, no panic, nothing but business as usual, or as so it seemed from this parent’s perspective. The superintendent gave the entire community constant updates throughout the day, and held a community forum to answer any questions or concerns that same evening. Our first selectwoman communicated support.
The town was punched in the gut, but not knocked down; in fact, most didn’t even waver. Business as usual. Work, soccer, swim, homework.“What’s for dinner?”
Sandy Hook teachers and staff, kids and cops, did their job. Again. They took care of the kids, took care of the town, took care of themselves. And will do it again tomorrow. And the day after that, and the day after that.
*Please commit to doing any action possible to make a positive change where you live, so our story doesn’t become your story. Join a group in your community. Send an email. Be a friend. Find a cause. Share on Facebook. VOTE Gun Safety. Hold a sign. Make a difference.