‘I heard her cries.’: Teacher enraged over shooting drill, ‘I want to teach, I didn’t sign up for this’

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“It was just a drill. I still cried. And believe me, I kind of smirked and shook my head when they suggested a ‘safe word’ to get out of this training if it was too much, because I’m Margo Lysell and I don’t cry…but then I heard her cries.

My training calls for me to leave a shot student outside of my classroom, even when they’re screaming for help. It ripped through my heart to hear my kids yelling for someone to help them and to keep them safe, and I can’t do that and keep other kids in my room safe.

I thought of every kid who walked through my door, who might get stuck outside and I cried. I thought of every teacher and student who has been placed in this actual situation and I cried for them.

I ended up ‘saving’ one student to get her to the ambulance to see another student bloodied and coding and I cried. How could we have let this happen in America so often? I look at my hand that still has fake blood stains of one of my students from a gunshot wound this afternoon and I still sit here literally nauseous.

I reported to the elementary school and I thought, ‘What if the next one was here and the hallways were full of some of the 5- and 6-year-olds that I love so dear,’ and I cried.

I do not understand how we got to this place America – where we’ve politicized and put a price tag on children’s safety.

Where the single mom teacher has to decide if she leaves her kid an orphan, or opens the door for her other kid screaming for help, or how I mentally prepare to take down one of my other kids who might be the attacker, or how I would look the parents in the face after leaving their kid in the hall, or do I put the others in danger by opening the door, or what if it was my own kid stuck out in the hall, and I cried.

I look at this fake blood this afternoon and I do not understand. Why are we okay with this being the new norm? I want to teach. I didn’t sign up for this. So, how did we get here and how do we fix it now? Nothing is clearer and I cry.”

Close up of teachers hand that has fake blood on it during shooter drill
Margo Lysell

This story was written by Margo. She teaches at a high school in rural Kansas. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.

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