subject line: the news won't cover this.


The Same School

i am sitting outraged and shaken on the floor of my kitchen drinking from a bottle so aggressively that i can’t even taste the burn. last week, my school went into a small lockdown alert because some expelled student was threatening to shoot. today, i heard the shot.

i was substituting in a history classroom. first floor. very accessible. i had just called out a student’s name during attendance when it rang out. the once loud room of rambunctious seventh graders went quiet— one whispered “was that a gun?” and they all turned to me.

i am a pacifist, against all violence, a Christian, against killing, against the second amendment, i am for these children living.

without even waiting for the announcement, one that didn’t come on the intercom for another five minutes, i locked the classroom door and asked three of the boys to help me slide one of the heavy filing cabinets in front of it. as soon as these kids were safe, locked in, barricaded behind the primary teacher’s desk and a few of their desks, i texted my siblings who attended this school to make sure they were okay. they were. everyone was.

one of the gym teacher’s had bravely heard the shot and, since it was his prep period, he went to investigate. the kid was a horrible shot, thankfully, and missed. the teacher disarmed him and no one was hurt.

and yet, the news won’t cover the incident because of the lack of story, the lack of “juice” as the reporter who answered our call said. these kids I was entrusted with could have died, people could have died today and the news won’t cover it.

my vodka is almost gone. my nerves are gone. i am just a substitute who has rejected work offers for the next three days because the thought of walking back into that school has my stomach somersaulting and flipping and twisting and i can’t bear the thought that i could have to act as fast as i did today. again.