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Why I'm Not Picking Up My Kids Early From School Today

The shooting in Newton.

This is a letter from my kids' principal today, 12/14/12 the day of a horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

"Dear Parents,

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. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

San Ramon Arts Foundation December 18, 2012 at 05:05 PM
No matter what your child has in the way of psychiatric diagnosis, please talk to him because he has the same rights to feel safe, loved and be understood. A child with autism can understand a lot more than you would realize as they are very sensitive and gifted. I also have a child like this. I know how hard it is at that age. It's very important to let the children know that they are safe, that the world is safe and also how to recognize danger when they are mistreated.
Missy December 20, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Totally agree...
Missy December 20, 2012 at 08:43 PM
and lets not forget was taking college classes at age 16...So yeah... Charlotte... What is your point...
Missy December 20, 2012 at 08:45 PM
But she was taking her son to the shooting range...If my son had a mental health issue the last thing I would do is take him to the shooting range so he knew exactly how to use a gun...
Missy December 20, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Because this was a MASS shooting in a little town (where this is rare) on children...Oakland shootings happen everyday...It's not news anymore...

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