Our last day of school was Tuesday. It didn't have that happy relief feeling to it that the end of school normally does. Apparently coming out on the backside of covid was much more difficult than actually going through it. It wasn't a terrible year, but it was rough and I don't think I am going to look back on too many parts of it fondly.
And that was before finding out about the latest school shooting. I've been trying to avoid it as much as I can because I simply don't have the bandwidth for it right now, but that has proved to be impossible. Stupid me went on facebook (why am I still there???) looking for a birthday and waded through a stream of hopelessness that I can't even fathom to be true.
I checked out today. Grades are done and my room is clean. When I got home, there was a living room full of teenagers playing a marathon game of How to Train Your Dragon. Not quite adults still hanging on to something they loved from their not too distant childhood. So I went up to my room and I just cried. Cried that my babies are growing up. Cried that I didn't give my best to this last year's students. Cried that I survived another year without having to protect my students from (or lose my students to) a terrorist.
I live in a rural, red state. People I have known all my life, people I love, people I know to be hard-working and loving and compassionate, posting memes about "not taking my guns" right after professing to be "pro-life." So many calls to provide teacher and teenagers and toddlers with military level training that I just can't believe this is being offered up as a solution. If the only thing you have to offer is arming teachers, bulletproof backpacks, and Kevlar blankets you should just keep your mouth shut. That is some next level victim blaming bullshit and you are part of problem. I am simply stunned that so many people are just...okay...with this.
I have six years before I can retire. On so many levels, I hope I make it.