Today, I finished my two and half month commitment to working full-time in a third grade classroom. I picked up Kai from high school and our conversation on the way home turned to cell phones and school. Most schools have a no cell phone rule but teachers know that if kids are allowed to listen to music while they work it creates a more peaceful environment. Kai added that students can add homework and reminders on their phone which they are more likely to keep track of than notebook paper.

Anyway, our discussion was about schools embracing technology instead of banning it. Then I added something about how handy cell phones would be in an emergency situation. If kids can report relationship statuses in a matter of seconds think how fast they could warn each other of danger. At the time, I had no idea of what had happened in Connecticut. I came home checked my messages on Facebook and quickly turned on the news.

My heart aches for the parents of the deceased children. They dropped their child off at school or put them on the bus and thought it was going to be a day like all others. They were probably relieved that it was Friday and tomorrow they’d get to sleep in. Perhaps they had plans to go Christmas shopping or to bake holiday cookies. Then suddenly, a phone call, their world was spinning and nothing made sense. Everything changed.

These parents need our support. There’s nothing we can say or do that will take the pain away but we can show them and tell them we care.

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

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