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Opinion | My children survived the Oxford school shooting. We can’t allow another one

Bridge Michigan
Guest Commentary
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.

Marcia Hudson
Marcia Hudson and husband, Robert, are proud members of the Oxford community. She is the mother of four children, two of whom are high school students at Oxford High School. Marcia served as a teacher and teacher leader from 1988-2019 in the Avondale School District. She currently serves as the Elementary Field Coordinator for the School and Field Services Office, School of Education and Human Services, at Oakland University. (Courtesy photo)

A gun.

Is in the school

        Love you more

Mom

I am shaking

         What??

         How do you know?

We're in ALICE

         Training you mean?

No

         Or a real lock down

         Okay just listen to your teacher

         Where are you?

In the class

Mommy

         I am here

         Is your teacher there

Yes

         What are they saying

         Lights are out?

         Under desks?

We put desks in the front door

We're in the corner

     Okay

         Just follow what your teacher says

         Which class are you in

         Name of teacher

         I am calling the police

         You there?

and then....nothing....for the five longest minutes of my life...I heard nothing.

I'm here.

They aren't helping

They haven't said anything

         Okay

         Just relax

         Stay quiet

I hear many sirens

         Just stay focused and listen to your teacher

I want to go home

         I know

         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.

Lauren Hudson, 18, and Cole Hudson, 14,
Lauren Hudson, 18, and Cole Hudson, 14, are students at Oxford High School. (Courtesy photo)

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.

Bridge welcomes guest columns from a diverse range of people on issues relating to Michigan and its future. The views and assertions of these writers do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan. Bridge does not endorse any individual guest commentary submission. If you are interested in submitting a guest commentary, please contact Ron French. Click here for details and submission guidelines.

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