I’ve been staring at this document for several days now, wondering what to write and how to write it. Because, as my title indicates, it’s all been said before. In lots of different ways, with all the same words, not just in the past week, but in the past ten years. Twenty years. And more.
The words, of course, that reflect the absolutely gut-wrenching, heart-destroying, horror of the school shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, TX.
Some of you are already thinking, what? What could I possibly have to say that adds to the reflection? That hasn’t been said before? And then you’re clicking away.
You’d be right. I have nothing new.
This time around, I did more to protect my mental health and stayed away from social media and have only spoken briefly with others about it. The day after the devastation, I had lunch, as I always do, with my friend and colleague at the elementary school I work at and after we both asked “how are you doing?” and both answered, “not good at all,” we mutually agreed we wouldn’t talk about it that day.
Maybe we will in the next couple of weeks. And maybe neither of us will have the ability to do it at all.
What I know is that sometimes, I get to a point that I need to process the emotions somehow. Do I have to do this publicly on my blog? No. But like everyone else sharing the same words, I do it this way for communal solidarity. To remind myself I am not alone. And to help me move forward.
Because I DO have to move forward. I want talk to you all about writing and books, instead. I want to be okay with the joys of life again. I’m getting there.
I will say this, too: we keep saying it all again because somehow, it’s not getting through. Children are still dying in one of the places we insist is supposed to be safe.
MORE guns in a school will NOT keep children safe. (And there are so many arguments against this, not least of all being that our children of color will be the first to pay the price for armed teachers, or worse, armed administrators or more police officers.)
Gun control does not infringe upon your fucking precious second amendment rights. (FFS, people like me who want to ban guns altogether are by far in the minority. No one is taking away your guns. No one.)
If you’ve seen the social media posts come through your feed about what teachers worry about in their classroom when it comes to “in case”, believe every single one of them. It’s not for shock value. I don’t teach anymore, but I still work in in an elementary school in a support role and do you know how I spent some of my middle of the night awake moments last night? I asked myself, do I know the protocol for if I’m not in my office when an active shooter is in the building? Do I know what the best actions are to protect children who are not already in classrooms no matter where I am in the building? Do I know what we do when children are outside for recess? Will I be someone who will be able to think quickly enough for ways to protect our children no matter where I am or where the threat is coming from? And I imagined 52 different scenarios and how I should react in each one, all the while knowing it probably won’t make a bit of difference.
School teachers and staff shouldn’t have to think tactically.
Kids shouldn’t ever be sacrificed in the name of freedom for guns over their freedom to life.
Not enough has been said, and yet it’s all been said. I’ve been staring at this page, again, wondering how to end this post. Hope? A call to action? Solace?
I’ve got nothing.