When Tragedy (almost) Strikes…

I walked in to school this morning to learn of a brutal murder of a science teacher at one of the nearby high schools. This is one of the high schools our upper-classmen attended before SMHS opened. We weren’t sure how those students would be affected, so we knew it would be an unpredictable day, but there was no predicting the main event of the day.

During 3rd period, an announcement was made over the intercom to follow the procedures for a Shelter & Place (sealing off and locking doors to protect from chemical contaminants). I whipped out my masking tape, got to work, and then returned to our Jeopardy review game. Only a few minutes later we were given direction to proceed into a Hard Lock Down. I wasn’t confident in the procedures since I am still so new to Clark County, but my kids walked me through the procedure and we secured the classroom. Per the “Safety Binder” instructions, I had my students move into the far corner and stay quiet (they idea is not to give any shooter or other intruder reason to enter the room). My kids were great. They chatted, texted, listen to music, and napped quietly until the lock down was lifted and we moved on with the day. I am thankful for well organized procedures that kept our school safe from an incident that occurred in the neighborhood just off campus.

Since everyone was shaken up, I amended my lessons to be a bit more low key for the rest of the day. In Honors Physics, they had time to study, turn in missing work, and assemble their notebooks before their test tomorrow. I was chatting with a student who was fiddling with the stapler when all of a sudden here eyes got big. We all realized at the same moment that she had stapled herself; luckily it came out easily without any blood, but she was in quite a bit of pain. I am so glad she was able to find humor in the situation and it broke the tension for the rest of the day!

I am thankful that a day that could have gone wrong went incredibly smoothly: students handled their grief maturely, the entire school followed procedures to ensure safety, and what could have been a major injury ended up being benign. It may seem callous of me to be laughing as I write this, but it does seem to have been a rather fantastical day!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Becky,
    What a wonderful teacher you must be…your kids must respect and enjoy you! So sorry to hear about the tragedy in Clark County. Teaching certainly isn’t what it used to be when I taught in the 70’s!


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