Opinion | My children survived the Oxford school shooting. We can’t allow another one
"I love you."
I replied to my daughter's text with a heart emoji.
Is in the school
Love you more
I am shaking
How do you know?
We're in ALICE
Training you mean?
Or a real lock down
Okay just listen to your teacher
Where are you?
In the class
I am here
Is your teacher there
What are they saying
Lights are out?
We put desks in the front door
We're in the corner
Just follow what your teacher says
Which class are you in
Name of teacher
I am calling the police
and then....nothing....for the five longest minutes of my life...I heard nothing.
They aren't helping
They haven't said anything
I hear many sirens
Just stay focused and listen to your teacher
I want to go home
But don't do anything until you are cleared by the police
We will come up to get you
Do you want us to come and get you?
We are on our way to get you.
We couldn't find Lauren at first, but eventually saw her, standing in the snow – crying, trembling.
Cole (our 14-year-old freshman) and Lauren (our 18-year-old senior) both lost friends Tuesday. Our hearts are breaking for our Oxford family. The Oxford community needs the support of everyone right now; our children have lost their friends, their teammates, their very innocence, as many literally ran for their lives yesterday. There are moments from yesterday that will be forever a part of me, of all of us.
Out of this senseless tragedy, I lean on a few things that I know for sure:
Our closely-knit, caring community will continue to come together to help each other, lean on one another, support and care for one another. #Oxfordstrong
Mr. Rogers was right. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Rogers said to his television neighbors, “my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’" I am grateful to the first responders from near and far that raced to Oxford High School to help. I pray for them, and their families as well, as I know that they experienced trauma along with the rest of us.
Most importantly, I want to thank our beloved teachers and staff members of Oxford High School. Being a retired teacher, and now working with college students who are considering a career in education, I have been a part of the ALICE (to prepare for active shooters) training and am remembering the terror I felt when just taking part in a training simulation. My heart goes out to each and every teacher within the Oxford Schools community, and beyond. Thank you for keeping my children safe.
In rereading the text thread with Lauren during the night last night, I realized how many times I said "teacher." Heroes, every single one. And you have no idea how devastated I am to have to write that sentence, because teachers and children should never have to look over their shoulders in fear.
This will be forever a part of us. We cannot do anything now to change what has happened, but maybe, together, we can do something to change our collective future.
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