I found out about the tragedy during lunch yesterday. Immediately, I went to my computer to find out what I could about what had happened. By the time my after-lunch class came in, I had a news website projected onto the board streaming live coverage from the small town in Connecticut. My students came in and sat down. They got silent pretty quickly.
We watched the same footage that everyone else did, of parents crying, swarms of emergency vehicles outside of the school. We watched the President brush away tears and tell us that this tragedy belongs to all of us. I held it together until watching another news clip where I heard that police at the school told students to close their eyes while being escorted out of the building, past the dead bodies of their teachers and classmates still lying in pools of blood in the hallways. That bit of information just made something inside of me snap. Of course, part of it is that I am a teacher, and that this incident just hit a little too close to home, but I think it's more than that. I can't explain it in words very well. Only that it's the feeling version of angrily sweeping the entire contents of a desk onto the floor, then sitting on the floor to cry. It's the same feeling I get when I learn statistics of human trafficking in my own city and across the world, when I see photos of people who, in the year 2012, are still dying of hunger and thirst or preventable diseases, when I meet with a student's mother who can't look her own daughter in the eye and tell her one thing she does well.
Everything is so broken. We all are.