Monday, April 16, 2007

Ut Prosim

In the wake of this morning's shootings at Virginia Tech, President Bush reminded us that "schools should be places of safety and sanctuary and learning. When that sanctuary is violated, the impact is felt in every American classroom and every American community." For once I agree with him.

I actually didn't know anything was amiss in Blacksburg today until late in the morning when my students started receiving text messages from friends and older siblings at Tech. "Can we turn on CNN?" once typically tough guy asked me anxiously. "Why would we do that?" I wondered. "Look at this text I just got from my sister," he answered, explaining the situation as he handed me his phone. "Dougie, I'm scared. 20 people are dead," I read.

And I didn't turn on the TV, but I have spent most of the day doing something I ordinarily hate: tracking the news in the hopes of receiving some actual news. I've watched the death toll climb from one to thirty-three and noted the headlines growing increasingly sensational -- the shooting of 11 AM is now a mass-murder, a bloodbath, and a rampage in which the victims were not shot or killed but massacred and slaughtered. I've quickly grown disgusted with folks on both the left and the right who seem to care about this act of violence only for the fodder it provides for the gun control debate. I've thanked my lucky stars I'm not a Hokie parent awaiting word on my kid and blinked back tears as I've remembered those who are.

Of course, you'd be hard-pressed to find a Virginian who doesn't know somebody at Tech, so I've also sent emails to beloved former students asking if they're okay. I really hope they are. But even if my kids are okay, somebody else's aren't.


lulu said...

As soon as I read about this, I thought of you, and have been sick to my stomach ever since, both because I would hate for it to have been one of your kids, and also because it is so fucking sad and scary for all of us.

Coaster Punchman said...

Terrible story. And now the conversation about the violent themes in his school writing will ensue. Were the teachers supposed to be concerned? etc. etc. All very sad.

Tenacious S said...

As a parent, I feel for the families who have lost their children. Honestly, you could take everything away from me, torture me, whatever, but if I lost one of my kids that would be the worst thing I could imagine. I can't watch or read much of anything on this tragedy. It is senseless murder. Chaotic, unfair, and sad.

Anonymous said...

I wish not approve on it. I over warm-hearted post. Especially the designation attracted me to review the sound story.

Anonymous said...

Amiable dispatch and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you for your information.