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Today, Pass The Chalk is running a series of reflections on the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. This post was originally published by withGanas.
I am shaken to the core by the massacre of children and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut.
The glimpses of unfathomable horror and fear and pain and sadness have at times been more than I can stomach. With some shame, I have found myself looking away, turning the radio off, trying to think about something else—hugging my own kids without letting them see my tears.
And the glimpses of immeasurable courage and love and humanity reacting to those horrors have at times been more than I can believe. With some shame, I question whether I would be brave enough to act in a moment such as that—to join the principal in her selfless attempt to stop the carnage, or to calm my children with crayons and paper in a storage closet in defiance of the chaos, or to tell a family that their 6-year-old was killed in his desk at school.
How can we possibly make meaning of this?
Like so many of you I have talked to in the last couple of days, I am longing to make it all make sense somehow, to find a way to tell myself that I can help, to do something. I suppose if I were more religious, I would say a prayer.
Some might say it is no different from saying a prayer, but what solace I can find in the wake of this massacre comes from embracing (on faith, I suppose) a simple conviction: We must honor these children and these teachers with truth.
In the wake of this horror, I am wrestling with four “truths,” and somehow hoping that my reflecting on them is in some microscopic way a tribute to those children and teachers:
We won’t bring those kids and teachers back. And we won’t stop the death of the child who has been killed by a gun somewhere in the U.S. as I type this.
I’m at a loss about how to fix this, but take the tiniest solace in honoring them with the truth.
Steven Farr has spent much of the last 12 years studying what distinguishes teachers in low-income communities whose students are making dramatic, life-changing academic and personal growth. He is the author of Teaching As Leadership and curator of www.teachingasleadership.org.