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Tragedy in Connecticut

Updated on February 18, 2013

Too Close To Home

My mind is reeling. I don’t know what to say or to do. Twenty little babies – five, six or seven years old – have been murdered. A madman went into an elementary school to kill his mother- a kindergarten teacher - and to kill twenty precious little babies. Babies still excited about the school experience. Babies whose biggest worry was what they will get for Christmas in just a little over a week.

I am a kindergarten teacher. I teach children who are the exact same age as these innocent babies. I am a grandmother. My grandchildren are just a little younger than these little ones that will not celebrate Christmas, or New Year’s, or graduation, or anything…

This hits too close to home for me. This could have been my classroom – my students – my school. As I listen to the news reports, I am thinking what would have done in this same situation. Could I have done anything?

I am positive that this teacher’s first and only thought this morning was the safety of her students. I don’t know how long she had to think before she died, but I know her thoughts were of these precious children in her care. I know that she died wanting to help those children – possibly reaching out to them in an effort to protect them.

We probably won’t ever really know why – at least all of the why’s – this horrible thing happened. We know that a very disturbed young man ended these lives just as they were beginning.

I have to think about the young students I will see on Monday morning. I hope they have not heard this horrible news. I hope they don’t have questions for me. I hope that they don’t want to know why this thing happened.

I hope they don’t ask – because I just don’t have any answers for them….

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    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      I don't know if that is the answer, but I have to think it might help...

    • HattieMattieMae profile image

      HattieMattieMae 

      5 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      Think Metal detectors are a good thing to have. It's a shame we have to go to such extremes, but this world is crazy some times! :)

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 

      5 years ago from the South

      We will never understand the actions of these people because our minds just can't work that way or "go there." I can understand why you hope the kids don't ask you about it...I wouldn't know what to say either. But I am also sure that if they do, you will come up with the right words. This whole incident is just beyond words. Bless all the families.

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Cynthggt..somehow we will all get through this...it may take awhile by one day we will...we just need some way to prevent this from ever happening again...

    • cynthtggt profile image

      Cynthia Taggart 

      5 years ago from New York, NY

      Joan, the emotions you have expressed mirror my own even though I am not a teacher. What is sufficient to say in the midst of such horror? I don't know if I were a teacher whether I would know what to say either, except that to let the children know they are protected. Still, it doesn't seem sufficient, does it? Perhaps to begin it might be best to first start with how they feel, letting them express their thoughts. Sharing the fear and talking openly about what is going on in their heads. I wish you all the best in the weeks to come. From what you wrote here, I am sure you will get through it and with you as you are the children in your class will get through this too.

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Joan....there must be an answer...there must be something we can do this to prevent this...I look forward to your book...

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 

      5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi teacher, I am trying to control my words in this comment, I have TOO MUCH to say! The short version is that as a Principal of a secondary school, I HAVE been faced by teenagers, who have asked me how they will ever feel safe again in the school I was responsible for, after a teenage homicide that was planned and carried out right in front of us. I think that was the worst moment ever in my long teaching career. The problem is, that there is really no answer. I hope you have been able to get through this terrible situation. I am planning a book on my experience and how we, the whole school community, dealt with the aftershocks. After reading your Hub, I feel that it is even more urgent that I get that book written! Voted Up, awesome and beautiful. I wich you the best of luck in the weeks to come.

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      This really does hit too close to home....I think of my little, bright-eyed, energetic students and I wonder how someone could look into their faces and do what he did....it is just unimaginable....

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 

      5 years ago from Peru, South America

      It is terribly shocking and unfathomable. As a kindergarten teacher, this must really hit home. We know you'll continue to love and protect, to the extent possible, all the little children under your care.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Excellent point. What do you, the teacher, say? Thank you and good luck.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 

      5 years ago from East Coast

      I was stunned when I first heard it earlier. Why? But there is simply no reason to be found for this question. Whether or not it is found that the shooter had any mental illness or not, he had to have known right from wrong and if he committed suicide he absolutely knew the wrath that would rain upon him if he lived. There is nothing that little children could have possibly done to harm him. There is simply no excuse. Still stunned and I don't even have children. What a sad world we live in.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 

      5 years ago

      This is insane! I think this tragedy is worse than the Columbine High school massacre, And let us not forget the other suspect in the theater shooting during a Batman film. I'm watching it on TV now as we speak. What is this world coming to! Thanks for sharing

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      5 years ago from California Gold Country

      What a sick feeling I have.

      I was a Kindergarten assistant for a few years before I started sub teaching pre-k-6th. How fortunate I was to have had my classroom experiences in an era when we all were convinced we were in a secure place.

      Kindergartners are innocent, curious, full of energy, eager to please and they give you hugs. I feel like I knew these kids personally.

      Maybe the world IS coming to an end. I'm sure all of the families involved feel as if it already has.

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      collegedad- I am so glad that are district is so very strict about who is in our schools at any given moment. If you wandered in our building, you would get asked by every adult that was in the building who you were and why you were there. You would be redirected to the office and asked to get a pass to be in the building. Unfortunately, in this circumstance it looks - at least at this moment - as if this gunman was known by school personnel - so I don't know how much that would have helped. We need metal detectors in every single entrance of every single school...

      Frank - I am so sorry that this happened so close to you. It is just too horrible to think about.

      Kathleen - I refuse to believe that this can't change - that our country can't get better - I can't give up that much hope. Something needs to change - I don't know how or what - it needs to change...

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Nothing is ever going to change in this county, no matter what happens. Doesn't make it any less tragic.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      terrible very heart breaking news and I only live 15 minutes away in Shelton :(

    • collegedad profile image

      collegedad 

      5 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

      This is truly horrifying! We have left our children unprotected. Last fall I entered a local school and walked the halls looking for the office. No one knew who I was and no one asked. Our schools should be far more secure than any Federal building!

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      I need answers, Bill. I need them! I know they are none, but I need them...

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Hattie - I don't know how this could have been prevented. I don't know if guards at the door would have helped - this shooter was known in the school - his mother was a teacher - would a guard have stopped him from entering? I don't know. I know that I want a metal detector set up in every doorway in my school! I just don't know what can change to make this stop...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There are no answers my friend. Violence of this type defies logic. We can only hold onto our loved ones and tell them how much we love them...each and every day.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image

      HattieMattieMae 

      5 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      Yes...it is a terrible thing. It's crazy these things keep happening. You would think after the changes came after columbine that it wouldn't keep happening. Obviously there isn't much we can always do. I know there is zero tolerance, but of course schools can't afford all the equipment to scan people in the building. I don't know what they do in elementary schools, but where I went to college we had guards, cameras in every hallway, and areas where we could pull and alarm to alert security.

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