Today Tara Bannow of the Bend Bulletin wrote what is possibly the most heartbreaking and important story about school shootings we have ever seen.
Tara writes about shooting survivors Amber Hensley and Joshua Pearson–students at Thurston High School in Springfield, Ore., when a shooter entered the building May 21, 1998. Amber was so traumatized she had daily breakdowns, and continued to live with her mother the next five years. In the worst of it, Amber was hospitalized after threatening to commit suicide.
Tara’s story isn’t just a description of the sadness of the shootings, and the damage that followed. It’s a vivid reminder of what happens when we fail to protect our children. It demands we stop this continual tragedy.
The most powerful words within it? Tara writes that when students at Thurston were asked whether they wanted (in the days to come) police stationed at the school, or patrol cars out front, the students said no. They said they wanted “moms in the hallways.”
Which is a way of saying, we think, that what we really need is to believe that the people around us are here to love and protect us. Which is the way we think it should be EVERYWHERE, ALL the time.