Courage and Composure

How on Earth do any of us begin to consider the atrocity that Friday morning brought to Newtown, Connecticut? How do we consider that the grim circumstances are a situation that has been repeated in schools multiple times over the last decade? How do we consider that this time many of the victims should be of an age of innocence and unaware that this type of event happens, much less be the angels who were caught in the cross fire of these same circumstances? How do we possibly consider why this violence happens? How has this type of behavior repeated itself so often, and how do we possibly begin to combat it as a nation and as a society? We must begin to alter our culture from its current violent course, however difficult that might be. I don't know the answer to these questions, of course, but I have to trust that those in positions of power in our country will raise tough questions and demand answers. Questions possibly about the presence of weapons, as I've heard some suggest, or questions about monitoring and assisting those with mental health concerns. Questions about the presence of violence in our media, and at what age is this appropriate. Questions that are yet to be determined.

Tomorrow morning students who are the same age as those who were murdered will enter the doors of my school, and it's very likely that many of them will be aware of what's happened and be afraid. It's very likely that teachers and students across the nation will be uneasy for quite some time. The unfortunate reality is that this situation may very likely repeat itself again. So how do we as parents and teachers reassure ourselves, our children, and our students that we are doing everything in our power to keep them safe? The process of establishing lockdown and safety procedures was begun quite some time ago, and I know that this work will continue with renewed attention and energy. It must...

So as I continue through my time as a teacher, the most important thing I can do is pray. Pray for those who are grieving at this moment. Pray for protection for my school and my students, and for protection for my son when he enters school. Pray for peace and wisdom as I inevitably will need to address the concerns of my students tomorrow morning. Pray for courage and composure in case I am ever in the position that the teachers in Newtown were in. And if I do someday sacrifice myself for the safety of my students, I pray for strength and peace for my family. How grateful I am to know a faith that is real and a Savior that is in control, even in the midst of chaos and uncertainty.

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