Thoughts on School Shootings

The school shooting in Newtown, CT at Sandy Hook Elementary School brought back extremely poignant memories for me.

As some of you may know, I was at Virginia Tech in April 2007 when 32 people, students and faculty, were senselessly murdered in a mass shooting on campus. There are so many things I remember vividly about that day. I remember the weather; cold, more windy than I had ever seen, snow flurries that seemed so late for that time of year. I remember not understanding the magnitude of what had happened until I got home from being evacuated from the campus. I remember being on lock down in my office with my co-workers and any students we found wandering the halls. I remember the phones not working; the cryptic, bare-minimum emails sent out by campus trying to keep us apprised of the situation. And mostly I remember the sadness of the days that followed. The candlelight vigil. The counseling sessions. The reporters randomly stopping you as you tried to go about your day on campus. Learning that a friend was a victim and dealing with the loss. Having the media descend on our small mountain town, making us almost feel trapped, with a giant spotlight on our campus….a spotlight on us as we tried to cope with the sudden, griping loss of so many from our already small community and the feeling of “how could this happen.” Continue reading