Here is a piece of micropoetry that was written on December 10, 2013:
… my heart is heavy
as the year of grief
has only increased
… children should
never die needlessly©
Below is a blog post that I wrote last year and again I feel it needs to be shared again today
of all days. It was originally posted on my blog www.texasmusings.blog.com December 22, 2012.
It has been a week and a day since the tragic shooting that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary. I am a Curriculum Specialist for a small elementary campus in a large Central Texas School District. This past week we have had meetings daily to discuss changes needed to make our campus more secure in the light of what happened in Newtown. There are district required safety procedures in place, monthly crisis drills, not just fire and tornado, but drills related to how to respond, react, and protect should something of a building threat happen. Added to everything we have been doing for safety, we now have to focus on how to respond to a potential bomb threat. This came about because a neighboring district had 11 bomb threats in less than two weeks.
We already have all outside entrances locked except the front door. Those areas are not readily visible even with security cameras and are not as secure as we would like them to be. However, they are as secure as we can make them without adding bars everywhere. The bottom line, this is a place for children to learn and not a prison.
Our campus has not made a big deal of the tragedy to our students. When concerns were brought up, we addressed direct questions, but did not dwell on the situation. Our students need to feel safe and secure where they spend the majority of their day every week. We are ever watchful, but we don’t want to alarm students with undue concern.
On top of everything, the news media is reporting unsettling recommendations for schools…armed guards, hand guns for all classroom teachers and administrators. These are the two most frequent and controversial recommendations that keep coming to the forefront. This is distressing and disturbing on many levels for educators, and I am not sure would prevent a gun tragedy if enacted. Personally, I think this could result in more casualties, trigger happy individuals, deaths from friendly fire…I could go on, but it has to stop somewhere.
With the focus on Sandy Hook and the tragic loss of children, teachers, and administrators our faculty and staff have been more aware of what a situation of this type would mean to us. There have been constant hugs in the hallways, more “I love you’s” spoken between friends, genuine caring and concern for co-workers…even those who are not the touchy feely type are showing emotions that are unusual for them. As a staff, we have a card signed and ready to send to the remaining staff and students of Sandy Hook Elementary when we know just where to mail it so we can show our support and concern.
Yesterday was the last day of the first semester, students went home early and teachers spent the remainder of the day finalizing grades, student folders, and the other details required of them to bring things to a close before leaving for Winter Break (yes, I will be PC here — but we all still call this time off ~ Christmas Break). As individual staff members were able to leave, they sought out others for final hugs, ‘have a great holiday’, and I ‘love you’s’. Sandy Hook has a long way to go before their healing can begin. Our campus realized we had areas of dysfunction and a need for our own healing without anyone saying a word.
Out of tragedy, that healing has begun and hopefully will continue when we begin the new semester in January and 2013 begins. During our time off, I will be reflecting on many things, many people, and many changes that have begun and will hopefully continue to bring our staff closer and create a healing of our own. As I tell people all the time, change happens with ‘baby steps’.
My parting thoughts … Never forget those precious 26 lives that were lost during an unbelievable tragedy. My constant prayer…is that something like Sandy Hook will never happen again to American citizens.
Brightest Blessings for the Holidays as each of you celebrate with your own individual and personal traditions. Peace and Love to all!
So much has changed in a year for me personally. I am now retired and loving every minute of being able to do what I want when I want. I am writing more, posting two different blogs every day and sometimes a third when the mood strikes me.
What has not changed is the fact that mass shootings continued this year and nearly 1000 children between the ages of 2-12 have been killed … some by accident, some by murder, some by suicide, but even one death by easy access to a gun is one too many.
Copyright © 2013 Annie
Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
As Ever, Annie