The Mass Shooting Down the Road.

On any given day, at any given time, in any given school, in no particular order, any one of our children or grandchildren could be killed while trying to get an education.

Today it was the school down the road from my house. Today 17 people lost their lives just 15 minutes from my home. In a beautiful neighborhood, in an academically excellent school, while the sun was shining, while I ate lunch, a gunman murdered 17 human beings, just down the road.

This morning parents said goodbye to their children never realizing that their precious darlings would never return. All this happened in my perfect little Florida community on Valentine’s Day.

As a retired educator I spent 36 years of my life teaching children. I never dreamed that something like this could touch my community. Not mine. But it did, and just down the road from where my sweet grandchildren sat in their classrooms in a nearby elementary school.

There is a gun epidemic in America that is more deadly than any virus or disease. And It is destroying our beautiful bright future and killing our children. And what do I say to my grandkids who will now be terrified to go back to school? I don’t know how to make them feel safe again. This is NOT how we should have to raise our children. This is not how America is supposed to be on any given day, at any given time. Not America!

Dear neighbors and friends, together we must make this nightmare stop. It Is fixable! By voting for representatives and leaders who are bold enough and care enough about our families to pass safer gun laws, “We The People” can save lives. Together we can do this! Our children do not have to be sitting ducks any more. We can stop this slaughtering of innocents. But, we must demand change and vote out those who don’t care about our loved ones.

These home grown terrorists,who are mostly young white males, can be identified and denied fire arms if Congress passes new gun safety laws and enforces them to protect our babies.

The President and Congress can keep their prayers to themselves. It doesn’t help those students killed just down the road from my house. Only safer gun laws will protect the rest of our children. Not speeches or bowing down to the NRA. Until better laws are created, then we will continue to live in the Wild West of Ignorance . And Americans don’t want to live in that world anymore. Enough is enough!

25 thoughts on “The Mass Shooting Down the Road.

  1. Lesley, an horrific act of violence that will keep playing out in our country until proper gun controls are put in place. Over the past ten years, over 320,000 people have died in the U.S. as a result of lackluster gun laws. That is a tragedy.

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    1. OMG! A real tragedy! I’ll never forget that day. I had to baby sit over night when this massacre happened. My son picked up the children early and brought them over to me. (He had to go out of town for business for a day) and so I couldn’t watch the news on TV. (I didn’t want to scare a first and second grader). So I had to keep abreast of the details from my phone. Younger siblings of my former students were still at MSD and their older siblings were scared to death and texting me. (I received dozens of emails and texts from former students who were panicked because they couldn’t reach their brothers or sisters). The poetry group I work with was texting waiting to hear about their friends and family… one boy couldn’t get ahold of his sister…so I’m trying to be a calm granny while holding back tears and communicating with all these kids. I It was a nightmare. I kept my grandkids home from school afraid the next day. I was afraid to let them out of my sight. You are so right about better gun laws. It’s maddening.BTW. All the children I work with were ok. But a Broward County principal lost her son that day. That school is amazing… you would never dream something like that could happen…

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      1. Naw, not so unique. I’m a teacher. I’ve maintained a close relationship with my former students. They friend me on social media, message me with updates on their awards and accolades they’ve received, They send me pics and text me and I just got an invite to a baby shower. So when some former students were away in college and couldn’t get ahold of their parents or siblings they called or text me. I’m used to it. And it’s heart warming. I treated them in class like they were my very own. Children know who cares about them. Just last month a young woman, former student, asked for my help with a March for immigration rights she was setting up. When she came to me in 4th grade she couldn’t speak English. She left writing beautifully in English and receiving top scores. Her parents were eternally grateful. When Trump started his nonsense she put plans into action and asked for advice and help. The resistance fighter in me was quite proud of her. With social media kids never lose touch with their favorite teachers. Any good teacher would do the same.

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    1. I sure hope so. These young students are taking action and make me so proud. Their passion and strength reminds me of my generation in the late 60’s fighting against The Vietnam War and for civil rights.

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  2. Like all things we feel true and deeply, like justice itself, your words are eloquent, exacting, true, not a wasted or false syllable among them. I wrote my first article about the need for gun control when John Lennon was murdered 37 years ago. That was before automatic weapons like the AR15 had hit the streets. This morning I read a story about an elementary child, who in the wake of the Florida massacre, asked his teacher, “Are these windows bulletproof?” Keep speaking out Lesley. Keep shouting. I have to believe SOMEWHERE we will find justice.

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    1. Thank you Amy. You are incredibly kind. Ironic that you mention John Lennon. I was teaching 4th and 5th graders at the time in an open school. My colleague across the hall brought her students into my room and they looked dumbfounded as she and I sobbed for our lost rock hero. We then talked about guns and emotions and how the two don’t go together well . The children wrote essays about why people shouldn’t walk around with firearms. Those kids are parents now. I pray they never have to endure a death from a school shooting. We think alike Amy. We both need to keep fighting until safer laws are passed. 💪✌️

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  3. Thank you Davy. It is indeed difficult to comprehend the blindness of our Republican politicians who refuse to pass safer gun legislation. This tragedy hits harder than most since it is so close to home. It affects my entire community. I’m babysitting my precious grandchildren as I write this because my son and daughter in law went away for a romantic Valentine’s dinner and outing. I kept the kids home today because I needed to keep them with me today after yesterday’s events. And, In their sweet innocence they are oblivious to the horror as they build their LEGO structures and have play doh tea parties. And I am holding back tears as I bask in their love and childlike joy. But inside, my heart is breaking for my neighbors, whose children never made it home last night. This is just horrific and I blame my President and his Congress for doing nothing to protect my community.

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    1. Davy D

      It is hard to imagine Lesley. I saw his press conference where he continued to blame mental illness and everything else apart from gun law. The NRA must have some power.

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      1. The NRA is in control of the entire GOP. They paid out billions to elect these fools. Today Trump wants to come to Florida to give “comfort” to the families. They said they don’t want his prayers and comfort they want action to get metal detectors for schools and to ban assault weapons. He is coming to this area because it is a wealthy suburb and the students come from families he can relate to. They are articulate and educated. But what he doesn’t realize is that the students said while they were in hiding in closets they were discussing gun control and how they were going to get actively involved in fighting the GOP to implement gun safety. This President is used to dealing with his ignorant, illiterate base.But this is an educated, aware community and his BS won’t fly with them. They are not only smarter than he is, THEY understand the constitution and can spout it whereas he cannot. Perhaps, seeing students who are close to hs youngest son’s age will affect some human emotion in him. I hope so. But the community is angry. AND his buddy, Rick Scott, our governor took away money from schools and the police. ALL those things would have helped prevent this attack.
        A former student of mine who just graduated college

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      2. A former student of mine got a hold of me yesterday and told me her younger brother goes to Douglas high and she was in a panic trying to reach him.
        As it turned out, today she told me the rest of the story where her brother- out of the blue- hugged his coach after PE practice (The same coach who was shot and killed later in the day) then had lunch with a buddy who was shot and died that day, suddenly had a weird feeling and called his grandmother to please pick him up early.Evidently he called several times begging her to come to the school and get him. Luckily she did.
        Ten minutes after he was picked up the gunman came into the building where he had a class and massacred and wounded a slew of children.
        My former student heard the news and couldn’t get ahold of her brother and was a mess. But eventually later in the day she found out he went home early and was safe. I guess fate had his back that day.
        She emailed me and I wept as I read her post. She thanked me for comforting her and told me I was her favorite teacher. It is funny who we turn to in time of crisis. Some people make us feel safe.I remember being on a field trip with her and our bus was stopped by a crazy driver. Somehow I got the nerve and just got out of the bus and gave the driver hell and yelled him for scaring my “kids”. He sheepishly got back into the car and drove away. The class applauded when I re-entered the bus. Then one of my school chaperones asked me, “Weren’t yoU afraid that he might have a gun?” I went pale, because I never even thought about it. LOL
        But, I think this student thought I was brave after that. Intact the whole class did. It was instinctual. Teachers are like parents. Our first instinct is to protect the children in our care. It just happens.
        I knew how worried she must have been about her little brother. (She was such a bright sensitive student when she was in my class) that I understood how she would be horrified at what happened and that just broke my heart.
        The bluapple poet whose sister we couldn’t locate from that school was finally found alive. Thank G-d. She got out ok. She was hiding in a closet and then held up by police who were checking the entire school for shooters and bombs etc. So all the children I know got out ok. But the teachers and students who died??? I feel like they are family. And in a way they are. They are my Florida family. This has just devastated me because I know teacher and students at the school. And because it is my community I am heartbroken…..

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      3. I hope so Davy. We have scheduled protests today and several next week in my area. All I can do is join the protesters and hope that my voice, along with the voices of others, will be heard by our lawmakers.

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  4. Davy D

    Heartbreaking to wake up in the UK to this tragic news Lesley. It is hard to comprehend the response of the politicians while innocent young people are being slaughtered. Thoughts are with you all and hopefully the people who care will bring about the change to stop this.

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  5. Let’s see, in response to this Mass High School shooting here in Coral Springs, FL all I hear from our politicians is they are very concerned and send their prayers. How about doing something? Don’t just come down here for a photo op!

    All I can say is, VOTE for politicians who offer MORE than just prayers!

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  6. Very sad. I am tired of empty comments and photo ops. We need to vote in people at all levels within our state and Federal government who don’t just pray but actually do something. Obviously their prayers aren’t working. They need to take action. VOTE.

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