‘At recess, the bathroom, dismissal…I think about where I’d run to and how many kids I can carry with me.’: Teacher candidly shares impact of school shootings

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“Usually, every morning around 7 a.m. I step out of my car onto the asphalt near the chain-link of an elementary school playground.

You can easily see right through it to where children play all day.

I walk past a security door with a buzzer, which is often open because it’s a hassle, and it’s next to the front office, which has windows looking in anyway.

But why is it even here?

At recess, the bathroom, dismissal…

I think about where I would run to and how many kids I could carry with me if someone opened fire.

I worried about keeping our windows and doors open for ventilation during COVID protocols because a gunman could more easily walk in.

Do I risk serious illness or gunshot wounds?

There are students, parents, and staff who I’ve imagined returning to school on a vindictive, violent rampage.

I’ve completed active shooter drills, where I tried to make 5-15 preschoolers, some with significant disabilities, duck and hush.

I kiss my own two precious children goodbye and picture the impossible choice of saving their mother or saving someone else’s precious child.

And, worst of all, I’ve experienced an honest, real-life firearm threat on campus, where I realized nothing I could do would probably actually save anyone, should there be an actual forceful school entry with a gun.

Especially not an assault rifle that can scatter a multitude of bullets in a matter of seconds.

Gun control – now.”

Mom hugs her two children while sitting on a farm with orange trees behind them
Velvet Peak Photo

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kayla Donato of San Diego, CA. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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