Recently my district started switching key staff over to a service called FirstNET. It is a service from AT&T for first responders to give them priority access to cell service in the event of an emergency. Educators were recently added to the list of jobs that are eligible to use the service. I joked about how depressing that was when you think about why we qualify. There are so many school shootings that we qualify for the same privileged access to communication as police, fire, EMS, and the military.
There was a shootout today on the property of the schools in my district. No one was hurt as far as I know, but as one of the tech team, I had to go through the footage for 14 cameras and watch a school respond to a gunfight. We had kids on the playground and a teacher stuck at a locked door trying to get inside to safety. Today, I witnessed teachers shielding students with their bodies. I was miles away and yet I felt it deeply. Those were the hallways I walk, those were teachers that I have joked with and students I have seen grow. Today, I saw once again, that we value guns more than children. Today, I complimented an administrator on their excellent use of cover as they moved through the halls to secure the building. I watched a school resource officer charge out the door alone to confront the danger. There was no time for a Code Red announcement because it was over in 45 seconds. There was not a single person in that building that needed to be told what to do. Every single person working in education thinks about what they would do in that situation more often than you would believe. Today it happened to one of my schools. Where will it happen tomorrow? I can’t be sure it will be tomorrow, but I know it will be soon.
Tomorrow, our teachers will go back to school and they will teach students that now know their teacher loves them so much that they would cover them with their body before they have a moment to think about it.