Students’ perspectives: Connecticut shooting

By Alyx Baysinger and Jaedyn Ford
Being a student, you never want to come to school afraid to walk through the doors or to stroll down the hallway toward a classroom. Because, it is here at school, where many students feel important, safe and connected to their environment. It is here at school where many students feel that their world is comfortable, controllable and normal; it is here at school where many students’ futures are possible and waiting for them to arrive. Yet, today, after the incidences that occurred at the close of last week, school had a different feel to it.
When we emerged from our cars, we first looked around. We paused and turned when a car door slammed shut. We jumped when others shouted: “Hey!” Today, when we met in the commons and walked to our classes, we did not smile or talk as much to each other. Today, we simply went through the motions as if something strange was in the air, as if something a little less comforting was near, as if something stole away a little slice of academic peace from us.
When school shootings happen, I suppose it makes more of an impact on elementary students than high school students – still it is impacting on all of us, in some way or another. A school shooting can happen anywhere, at any time and truthfully that thought is the most unsettling thing. After school shootings happen, kids react differently to each other and to certain noises, because how does anyone know if they are truly safe from harm?
We never know why people do certain harmful and hurtful things; we just know that we are unsettled and affected by what wicked people do. We also know that unless we communicate about what affects us, then we will never be at peace. The more that we communicate, the greater the chance that our feelings can be changed and other’s perspectives can be altered. Also, with communication, the better the chance that an occurrence like the one that took place last Friday will not happen again – well, at least we hope.
Parents always have a difficult time sending their kids off to school. It seems like each year as children get a little older, parents want to hold onto their child a little tighter. But in truth, kids go to school and from school every day, and nothing bad really happens. But unfortunately, every once in a while there is a tragedy.  Parents see the news and hope that their child was not involved or that their child will not be affected by the tragedy. Yet in truth, we, both parents and children, here in Woonsocket, will never be able to understand the pain that the Connecticut parents, children and communities are feeling today. And hopefully we never will.
Shamefully, we feel relieved that the shooting took place many miles and many states away from us. We can only experience their pain from a television set. We cannot fully understand what it would have been like to receive that call that there had been a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School – what is now known as the second-deadliest shooting in United State’s history.
Can you image sitting while slowly letting the varying possibilities of your child’s fate sink in, or waiting for the final news of your child’s fate? Or that today, your child was taken by a gunman carrying two 9mm handguns and a rifle, who killed 20 children and seven adults, one being his own mother? In truth, he took away 20 young lives who should have grown up with the same chance that all of us have: to positively change the world around us. That is why I went to school today, to positively change the world around me, but unfortunately 20 children in Connecticut will never be given that same chance.

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