Texas Tears (View from an Educator)


This one hit the hardest, y’all. And I am not sure why. Because they are all just horrific.

Maybe it is because there have been so many, and it is finally just beyond comprehension. Maybe it is because I am an educator. Maybe it is because they were elementary school children. Maybe it is because we are doing nothing to make anything better.

Literally nothing.

I could see what was happening in that room, y’all, as if I was there. And it is haunting. I could see those babies hiding under desks and in bathrooms, practicing their well-rehearsed “intruder drill” and believing it was going to save them. I could see those teachers, y’all. Those work besties, who had been planning together, eating together, laughing together, and crying together protecting those babies right until the very end. Dying as heroes.

WHY are we putting our CHILDREN and our EDUCATORS in these positions? Time and again and again. WHY are we teaching children “intruder drills” that clearly are no match for assault rifles? WHY are we asking TEACHERS to be trained in protecting their babies when I would bet the vast majority of them have never held a gun or taken even a self-defense class?

WHY are we crying and talking and praying and then forgetting?

As an educator and as a parent, it is time we stand up and DEMAND change. I can think of 100 ways to stop making schools targets and make the opportunity for this to occur lesser. But, of course, it takes money and it takes IMMEDIATE change and it takes all the people safely protected in their ivory towers the ability to forget political sides and come together and just agree. I mean, we are talking about children’s and teachers’ lives! One would think that would be an important and top priority AND one we could easily agree upon.

I have a super QUICK solution to this problem. Is it going to stop people from being horrible? Nope. Guns still available? Yep. These things are harder to fix.

But what CAN you fix, quickly and fairly easily if funds are available?

Making schools less of a target for those that are set out to cause harm and have access to guns. How do you do this? More security. More metal detectors. More doors that remain locked and entry is only granted through one entrance. More security cams for constant monitoring of the perimeter.

But this takes money, right? So where does it come from? I’ll tell you, AND I’ll tell you taking from one pot and giving to the other not only secures buildings, but it also removes a pressure on teachers that is causing them to leave the profession in droves. 

Approximately TWO BILLION DOLLARS per state are spent on standardized testing each year. $2,000,000,000. Per. State. Now, I was not a math teacher, but I am fairly certain if you STOP using this archaic, outdated, useless tool that does nothing but threatens teachers and controls all aspects of the educational system by taking all this money, you could do A LOT to improve security at every school in the state really quickly.

For those politicians who were NEVER educators, who just think we HAVE to have a measuring system, I can tell you, we are already using benchmarks and programs that cost A LOT LESS than these totally irrelevant and expensive measures to truly gauge learning and using that data to drive instruction and help students succeed. So, for those worried about understanding how we know if teachers are doing their jobs, well, we got that covered without needing anything from those 2 billion dollars.

So, how do you get this message to those that can impact change?

You write your congressperson. Feel free to steal anything from above! You DEMAND change NOW! You ask them what they plan to do immediately to ensure as best as possible this never happens again. And you don’t stop when this memory fades. You keep pressing them. You keep demanding. In all the places. If all the 85 million mommas of this great nation start to demand change, it will happen.

So let’s stop sitting and crying and start standing and yelling. Our children and our teachers need us!