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On Shattered Glass and Broken Treasures


January 4th should have been a good day in the small town of Perry, Iowa. It was the first day back after Winter Break. The students would have come in excited to see their friends after a long holiday, chattering away about the treasures left under the Christmas tree or in their stockings. The teachers would have been well-rested after a much needed break. It should have been a good day.



That morning, I was leaving a friend's house after breakfast. As I pulled up the map to get directions to my next stop, the headlines were breaking. Perry is in Dallas County. It took a few minutes to process that it was more than a few miles away.


The story was familiar: Lamar High School, Arlington, 6:55 am, the day after Spring Break.


That, too, should have been a good day.


The argument over gun laws in Texas is older than my own middle schooler. While the Republican-led legislature has continued to expand access to lethal weapons,  gun deaths across the state have continued to increase, and Texas has topped the list of states with the highest number of casualties from school shootings for 2023.




All of the precautions, the reinforced doors, the alarms, the metal detectors, the bullet proof glass, and all of the unfunded mandates... None of that protects our children in the parking lot, or at the bus stop, or on the field, or at recess, while they are on school property that should be safe, but isn't. The focus has been so much on protecting the building, that we have failed to protect the children.


We don't have to live this way...

Where sometimes the only thing between your child and a bullet is a teacher...

And sometimes it's nothing...


We can choose something different.


In a few hours, I am going to send my own children to their first day back at school after winter break. When we part ways, we will go to three different campuses across two school districts.


I pray that their teachers know how valuable they are,


and


I pray that we all have a good day.






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