My thoughts about Marysville-Pilchuck
Friday morning around 11:15 am my cell phone rang, and I saw the call was from my husband, Greg. Greg is a teacher at Everett High School, and I knew he was teaching at that time, so I immediately thought something was wrong. He was calling from his back storage room, out of earshot of his students, to let me know there was a shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Greg, who's from Marysville, graduated from Marysville-Pilchuck High.
My sense of relief that he was okay was quickly replaced with horror over what had happened. I cannot imagine the terror the students and staff members at Marysville-Pilchuck experienced that morning. My heart goes out to each and every one of them, and words cannot express how deeply saddened I am by this senseless loss.
School shootings have changed my world. When I first started teaching, I never dreamed there'd ever be a day I'd worry my spouse or kids might not come home alive. Yet this is the reality for all of us who have any connection to schools---educators, parents, students. We wonder every day if today will be the day that someone comes into our school with a gun and opens fire.
I love my country, but something is terribly wrong. Why is the United States #1 in gun deaths among developed countries? How come almost 100,000 people each year are shot or killed by a gun here? Why is it that among 23 populous, high-income countries, 80% of all firearm deaths occur in the United States?
Last February we passed a capital projects levy that included funding for enhanced school security, such as interior-locking doors, key cards, and window shading in all 50 of our schools. What a sad commentary that we had to ask voters for money to protect our students and employees from being shot to death. I can't believe it's come to this. Think of all the things we could do with that money to improve education if school shootings were not part of our daily reality.
The insanity has to stop. Guns are used to kill almost 3,000 children and youth each year. We need common-sense measures to prevent gun violence and keep our students and staff members safe. Our kids deserve nothing less from us.