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I have spent the last few days searching for the right words to say. And then today, when I sat down to write, I realized:
There is nothing that I, or anyone else could say that would take away the pain of the families, friends, and community of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. I can only hope that those affected are able to one day find the peace that they deserve.
I want to talk to you today about the feelings I have had following this massacre. I am not here to preach anything in your direction. It is not my place.
But I want to tell you how blessed I feel to have lived another day. I want to tell you that this morning when I got out of bed, my feet hit the floor, and my cat let out a sigh, I couldn’t help but feel like I’d won the lottery- simply because I am alive. I want you to know that I am honored and incredibly amazed that I get to walk into a school each day, give out 21 “Good Morning” smiles, and be surrounded by children who rely on me to keep them safe.
Teaching is not an easy job. It is not something you finish for the day and leave at work. Teachers spend every moment of their lives thinking about ways to better the world, by bettering the lives of the children that greet them every morning. It is an honor to work alongside so many incredible, inspirational, and beautiful human beings.
I am scared of what the future holds for those of us who work in the education system. I am scared that there are people in the world who think their lives more important than another’s. I am scared of the violence this world sees every day. I am scared that our children will grow up in a lifetime where “school shooting” is a topic of conversation.
But I am hopeful. If we are going to change the way the world works, we must look at it through the eyes of the children. The children who are working so hard to change it. The children who are fighting for what they know is right. The children who won’t take no for an answer. The children who are going to save us.
I am hopeful that I will get to teach a generation that will rewrite our history.
To the teachers who have raised me, the teachers I have learned from, and the teachers I work with now:
Thank you for such an inspirational message. After tragedies such as mass shootings occur, we are all often left wondering if there is a right way to react, if there is something more we could do, say, etc. Thank you for just projecting a message of hope and stating that this generation is the one that will rewrite our future. That means a lot, because who better to create a better tomorrow than those who are going to be there?
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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