I have a storage closet inside my music classroom. Shelves lining both walls hold musical instruments. There are stacks of chairs in one corner and drums in the other.
At various times in the year, certain sets come out.
There is a narrow walkway between the shelving.
More than once this school year, I’ve glanced in there with the following thought: would I be able to fit an entire class of students in here? I’m not sure. If I quickly moved some things out. But would there be enough time?
That is where I stop my spiraling thoughts. Any further, and they’d be unbearable.
Every day, I stand on the sidewalk outside my school. Along with colleagues and student volunteers, make sure kids get safely to their cars.
Several times during the year, I almost left my phone inside the building. But then one thought would invade-what if something happens? An emergency? And quickly, I’d put my phone in my back pocket.
I’m not the only one carrying the weight of such thoughts. But we rarely talk about them. Until another tragedy occurs and we realize it could have been our school, our students, or our friends.
I see the sweet faces of the Uvalde, TX victims in photos shared by loved ones. I see the desperation in the sobs of those left to mourn and question.
My heart breaks.
But my sadness quickly turns to anger as I listen to sound bites. As I hear political figures speak of rights instead of solutions, perpetrators instead of victims.
There are solutions. And please don’t tell me there are no laws or policy changes that would affect this epidemic of gun violence in our country. There are. And they are logical. Why do we refuse to take a stand in their favor? Well, that’s a matter of the heart.
Our descendants weep
As the blood
Of the innocent
Soaks the ground
Beneath the feet
Of misplaced allegiance