Monday, January 14, 2013

Pour Les Enfants

Victoria Soto was 27 years old. She graduated high school in 2003. She loved teaching and she loved her students. I bet we have a lot in common, except on December 14 she died while protecting her students and I was left wondering if I could have been that brave.

The way Newtown's tragedy has changed schools seems similar to the way 9/11 changed airport security. At my school, students are now required to have an emergency bag in the classroom with a change of clothes, water, and snacks, in case we are ever in lockdown for a significant amount of time. Our classroom doors are locked at all times. The front door to the school is controlled by an electronic lock. To get in, we (teachers, staff, families) must enter a security code. Today we were encouraged to view the "Active Shooter Training" video available on the web. And while all of these changes are being implemented in schools across the country, one thing has not changed. There are still families grieving in Connecticut. There are still children in Heaven who went there way too soon.

Many years ago, I fell in love with a beautiful lullaby sung by the Dixie Chicks (written by Radney Foster), called "Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)." After the shooting, the song took on a new meaning for me. I decided to learn how to play it on guitar in remembrance of those 20 children.

The same with the Taylor Swift/Civil Wars song "Safe and Sound" from the Hunger Games soundtrack. Now it makes me think of the survivors and mourners. I hope they can find peace, and that they feel "safe and sound" even though they have suffered loss.

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