Today, as I write this I can not stop thinking about the families in Newton, Connecticut who are suffering the loss of all those children and teachers and school personnel. It is just so sad and tragic.
My first job after college was as an elementary school teacher. I loved it. For many years, I taught students in grades, 3, 4 and 5. For part of that time, I worked in the Bronx at St. Philip Neri and for another time period, I worked at Flanders Elementary School in Malone, NY. I know very well what it is like to be working in an elementary school and the close relationships and connections a school community can foster.
My heart breaks thinking of those children who died and the many others who heard the shots and experienced horrific fear. I think of the teachers, principal and all other school personnel who died that day and those who had to think quickly to save themselves and the children. I admire the courage of those who were with the children.
I have been trained in Emergency Drills of what to do if an intruder entered the school and yes, I believe those drills are important. However, I do believe instinct kicks in and you do what you believe is right at that time.
We keep hearing the story of a teacher who kept telling her children she loved them so that if they died those would be the last words they heard. I'm glad to hear that she followed her heart.
The man who did all this killing obviously suffered from some serious mental illness. I pray for all those inflicted with these struggles and ask that we as a world figure some better way to handle them so people don't have to continue suffering.
I also have to admit that hearing he came to school with multiple guns worries me- I don't understand why people feel the need to carry so many guns. Violence does not solve anything.
I pray that we start turning more to PEACE and see how that can help us live better lives.
To the school community of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut-my prayers are with you. Blessings of peace at this tragic time.
Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu