This is a letter from my kids' principal today, 12/14/12 the day of a horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
I know most of you have heard about the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Our hearts go out to the entire community there. Please know that our staff will not discuss this with students or bring it up in front of them. They will not hear of this from school. If there is a discussion to be had it will be with family.
Please be assured that we do everything to keep your children safe in in caring hands.
Please take care and give your children an extra hug from me."
And this is why I'm not going to pick up my kids early from school. My kindergartener is safe at home already but I also have a first and second grader. I want to hug and kiss them and give them cookies right now, but they don't need that. What they need is a normal day at school. A normal, safe day playing with their friends. A day that 18 children will never get to experience ever again. My kids get to come home and light the candles for the menorah and their friends get to play in front of and enjoy the beauty of their Christmas tree. There are parents in Connecticut who have gifts under the tree that will never be opened. My heart is breaking for them.
But I will not shed tears in front of my kids when I pick them up. I will try my hardest. That would only scare them. An hour ago I whimpered reading something on Facebook and my 5 year old asked what was wrong. I immediately pulled it together. He has Autism and this would be very confusing for him. His teacher is on medical leave, so school is already an upheaval for him right now, and he doesn't need to know that school can be even more unsafe.
If my kids ask of course I will discuss this topic with them. But I will spare them as many details as possible and let them know that their school is safe. When they come home today the news will be turned off and I will have a marathon of Chopped (my favorite cooking show) on the t.v. Their t.v. will have cartoons. We will celebrate Hanukkah and they will go to bed. And my husband and I will go to bed grateful beyond belief.