I've been following the news about the Newtown shooting. I am still devastated. I cried again while President Obama read the names of the victims. I cried when I first saw the list online because of all the ages listed as '6'. I got two names in and had to stop.
I keep circling back to the thought: What do you do with their presents? What if they're already wrapped? What about the ones that aren't wrapped? What do you do with them?
I know everyone is horrified and angry and looking for the answer as to why this happened and what will keep it from happening again.
There is no clear answer. The discussions are turning to gun control and how to treat mental illness, which is good. Discussion is good.
However, I've also seen things like this t-shirt showing up:
In the movie Jesus Camp one of the evangelical mothers says that prayer was taken out of schools and the schools are now falling apart.
If bringing prayer and worship into schools will prevent any more children being killed in their school I'm all for bringing it back. If praying in school will increase the public school budget and bring our quality of education up to the level where it should be for the richest nation on the planet, I'll agree to let my children get down on their knees and bow down to whatever deity the committee decides is the right one.
Submersion baptism? Sure. Bring it on. Daily communion? Okay. If THAT is the answer, let's do that right now. I'll go get a glow in the dark Mary for my son's table. My kids need a Bible for required daily reading? Fine.
If bringing God into school will keep this from happening I'm all for it!
But it won't.
God is welcome everywhere in Afghanistan.
I know we all want a simple act, something we can do that will guarantee something like this won't happen again. There isn't. There isn't any one thing we can do.
It makes the tragedy that much more senseless because we can't do any one thing to keep it from happening again.
I do want to point out, that the lock-down drill worked in exactly the way it was supposed to. The classroom doors were locked, the blinds were pulled. The teachers got the children into the safest place they could find.
In one case, a teacher got all 14 of her students into the little bathroom in her classroom.
The clerk working in the library found the main doors into the hallway wouldn't lock. She got the kids into the supply closet that locked. She pushed file cabinets in front of the door before finding paper and crayons for the children. She wouldn't open the doors until an officer pushed his badge under the door.
All the adults in the school, the custodian who ran down the hallway to warn the classrooms, the secretary in the office who kept answering her phone when teachers called from their classrooms to tell them there was a shooter in the school and lock down, the psychologist and principal who were killed as they ran at the shooter, all of them protected the children there. None of them dove out the window and ran away in an attempt to save themselves. They all put themselves between the children and the danger.
There is a Jewish belief I've mentioned before. It is that if there are 13 righteous people on the planet, life can go on. It doesn't have to be the same 13 people every day, but there have to be 13. It can be the person who finds a disoriented elderly person and calls for help for them. It can be a child who tells other kids to stop making fun of someone. It can be these people who protected the students in their school.
In a way, it makes me feel better about being part of the human race. There ARE people in the world who will do the right thing, even if it involves terror and the chance of being killed. There ARE humans who will put themselves last to make sure someone else can be spared.
It give me hope.
I'm still crying whenever I see the pictures of the children who died. But I am finding comfort in the heroism that was shown on Friday.
I don't know what we need to do to stop something like this from happening again.
And I don't know exactly what my point is here. I'm upset and I need to type about it.