It’s my #1 worst recurring nightmare. I walk into school on a seemingly regular day. I’m with my friends. We’re talking as we usually do, cracking a joke every now and again. I smile at the people who seem far away.
On this day in the nightmare, it is Wednesday, which means every student at Woodland Park High School arrives to school at a later time. It’s always on a Wednesday. We all pile into the Commons or stagger about the student parking lot before the bell rings and we go our seperate ways to begin our days. However, in this nightmare I constantly have, none of us get to make it that far.
It always happens differently, but suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, gunshots are fired. Someone here has a gun. We all know what the sound is instantly. We grew up watching movies with it, playing video games with it, and hearing them in all kinds of ways. But none of us were prepared for them to go off there, in our own school.
Chaos breaks lose. People are screaming, dropping to the floor. Some are running in all different directions. It all happens so fast, its hard to distinguish what is really going on.
From there, many different scenarios happen. My friend next to me is shot. Or we all duck under cafeteria tables. Or I run off with someone I haven’t been close with in ages, and spend hours hiding with them. Or I’m held at gunpoint in front of the entire school. Or I cower in a corner as I watch everyone I know be shot right in front of my eyes.
This nightmare has become so common for me that I think about it anytime I walk into school. I think about it as I walk through the halls. The staff at school has told us what to do in case of an active shooter in whatever class we may be in. They have answered whatever questions we may have. But at any given moment, it could happen, and absolutely no one would be prepared.
(Please note that Colorado is not lit up at all. And that scares me. A lot.) Added Feb. 15
It is 43 days into our calendar year and there have been 18 school shootings. 18. And after the Parkland shooting today, three of the 10 deadliest mass shootings have happened in the last 5 months.
What have we done about it?? Absolutely nothing. We do the same cycle anytime a senseless tragedy like this happens.
“Oh no this is terrible, let me write about how terrible I think this is. I’ll post it on Facebook. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims. While I’m at it, let me change my profile picture to a filter someone created so that it looks like I’m doing something, when in actuality I’m going to go and forget all about this tragedy in a few days until the next one hits. Also while I’m at it, #TragedyStrong to show people I support the cause. And in a few days, I’ll go back to sharing stupid quotes with my followers.”
Nothing changes. No laws are passed. We learn to accept it as the “norm.” We scroll through the Trending Topics on social media, see the name of a town, and instantly assume it’s a mass casualty. It happens all the time. No need to freak out, right??
THERE ARE PEOPLE KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE.
What is sending your thoughts and prayers going to do?? How is that going to stop the next person from open firing at another school? At another concert??
We should have learned in 1999 when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris pulled off the biggest school shooting America had ever seen. We should have stopped it then. But we didn’t.
And then innocent 6 year olds who didn’t even know how to tie their shoes or sing on key lost their lives. And we still didn’t learn.
We still haven’t learned.
We learned to adapt instead of change the ways. We learned the easiest escape routes from our math class to the back hallway door. We learned to build barricades on the doors.
Instead of taking measures to stop the possibility of school shootings, we taught kids from the time they were potty trained how to survive one.
“Welcome to the place where you should feel the most safe. Know that you have the chance every time you step through those doors that you may never go home again. Enjoy the next 12 years.”
What kind of BS is that? We sit back and we let this happen. We let people with semi-automatic guns walk into schools and kill children.
I shouldn’t have to feel panic whenever there is mass huddles of kids in the hallways, or whenever assemblies are called. Whenever the fire alarm is called, is it real? Or is it a set up? When do we decide enough is enough??
Open your eyes.
I’d love to hear your opinion on this down below.
Until next time,
National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Eating Disorder Hotline: 1-800-931-2237
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD
Self-Injury Hotline: 1-800-DONT-CUT
For more hotlines that you or a loved one may need, visit http://www.pleaselive.org/hotlines/
Stay alive. 💙