A Parent Once Said

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*This is a previous post I made about the Uvalde school shooting back in May. I discuss quite a few controversial topics from my perspective. It is absolutely fine if you skip this one because of the trigger warning. 😉 *

A parenting page I formerly followed on social media said that it was because teachers do not have enough training that school shootings occur. When I read this statement, I was beyond appalled. In my five brief years of being a teaching assistant, I have encountered many statements from parents which are simply oblivious to the realities of teaching. This one tops the list. 

As a Childhood Development Major, I spend a majority of my time learning all of the different procedures and protocols to keep your children safe. I have had multiple classes on mass murders, rape, suicide, and other forms of assualt. The weight of not only learning these things, but putting preventionary measures into practice is a heavy burden for me. It truly is a constant presence in the back of my mind. 

To make a statement implying that it is any teacher’s fault their students were shot is a horrific thing to say. My heart breaks for each child and their family, but now, my heart is also broken for those teachers who did not die trying to save their students and are being dragged through the mud for it. I cannot fathom how cold someone could be to accuse the teachers of allowing something like this to happen. Seriously, we can’t even get the government to listen to us about something as simple as a pay raise. Why on earth would you think we could convince them to change laws or put more safety measures in place?

My career is challenging. I don’t think a single person would disagree with me on that, but let me be 100% clear when I say this, I CHOSE THIS LIFE. I felt God place an undeniable call on my heart to teach, support, and love on these precious preschoolers. There is nothing else I could ever imagine doing besides this. Believe me, I am well aware what I am taking on and what danger I am putting my life in. They remind us every day at school. However, I will choose it 1000 times over because they deserve someone who will fight for them. I promise each one of my kiddos, I will NOT stop advocating for a better educational experience for you. I will not stop praying for you or emailing legislation about solutions or learning how to best care for you. I will not stop because now, more than ever, you need someone on your side. While I can’t directly share Jesus with all of you, I can do this to show you His love for you in action. Love does not sit on the sidelines and neither will I.

As I sit here researching the school I’ll be student teaching at in the fall and trying desperately to push the overwhelming fear out of my mind, I find a slight sense of peace in the knowledge that I have been trained on what to do in a crisis. It was not fun to memorize and write multiple essays and reports, but there is a confidence that I know how to keep my kids safe and where I am going if I have to lay my life on the line. If I have ever taught your child, please know that my prayer has always been and always will be, “Me instead of them, Lord.” This is not a prayer I should have to pray, but I pray it every day in the quietness of my heart.

I was having a pensive moment last night as more information was being released. I realized that all of this was happening in Texas as we were having our preschool end of year program and right around the time when our principal was describing how honored we are to be entrusted with these children and how quickly they become “our kids” each year. Those children who were brutally murdered were the teacher’s kids too and I can only imagine how deep and heavy that loss is for them. Whether your child was the most annoying one we ever taught or the most precious child in existence, they’re all “our kids” and there’s nothing we wouldn’t do for them.

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