Classroom Carnage

When I woke up on Saturday and listened to the morning news, a chill went up my spine. The shocking news of the classroom carnage was on air. Being an educator by profession I could easily visualize the confusion and pandemonium that would have prevailed. Even a planned fire drill created a furore in our huge school. So I could well imagine what the scenes of an event which was a bolt out of the blue could have caused. The newscaster went on to say that the armed assailant entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut barged into his mother’s (who was a KG teacher) classroom and fired indiscriminately killing 20 students and 7 adults, including the school Principal and School Counsellor. While there could be any number of reasons why things happened the way it did, a couple of things stand apart, worthy of introspection.

The gunman was said to have been heavily armed – carrying up to four firearms. How could the man therefore have passed the school’s security system? The gunman was reportedly wearing a bulletproof vest – so he knew the disastrous consequences.

It is tragic that 20 innocent lives were snuffed out mindlessly due to the delusions of a deranged person. May the Lord give their parents and near and dear ones the strength to bear this tragedy. Even more impacting would be the frame of mind of students who were eye witnesses to the blood bath. Their days of nightmares, fears and being nervous wrecks will now begin. Months and years of psychological counselling would allay the damaging effects – but will it be able to wipe out even the traces of this horrendous shoot out? Only time will tell.

To all parents there is only one advice. Do spend time with your children. Antony Douglas Williams in his book, Inside the Divine Pattern, says: “Spending time with children is more important than spending money on children.” Technological gizmos,  money and other material things cannot give young minds values they can hold on to. That can happen only through modelling and bonding with your children.

Another commonly noted fact is that parents go on a denial mode especially when the school/teachers convey learning / personality concerns. While it is true that it is most difficult for any parent to come to terms with learning / personality disorders their child is purported to have, research does say that acceptance and accommodation will actually help  such children to cope and come to terms with their challenges. The earlier it happens, the better for the child.

RIP – little children and their teachers who lost their lives in this mindless shoot out. May their souls rest in eternal peace.