My heart weeps molten tears for those I only know by name
For the fear my children bring home to me asking me the same.
“Did the bad guy get caught, how old were the people who died?
How did the bad guy manage to get all the way inside?
He was one of them, he was one of us
He looked so normal and then did this
Mommy, why was our school locked today?
They pulled all the blinds and took our light away
The teacher yelled for us to sit and be still
I’ve never heard her raise her voice this year ‘til
She told us to shut up and placed her hands to her head
We heard in the halls that day 5 had been shot, 1 already dead
The bomb in our school never was to be seen
But the kids were taken home all day except me
My friends all left with their siblings, my teacher acted so brave
Mommy, what happens if I get shot at school the next day?
Will they put me on tv and show everyone my picture?
Will they speak of my A’s how I was a left-handed pitcher?
Will I be called a good girl and will my sisters cry
Mommy, I just don’t get it – all this hurt – why?
You’re crying now I’m sorry I just wanted to ask
I need to know I can feel safe tomorrow when I go to class
I heard on the news two for a total of 3 have now died,
Mommy please tell me how did the bad guy get inside?”
How do you explain to your children that THIS is the face of the "bad guy"?
I wrote the above poem about the Chardon High School shootings that took place in Chardon, Ohio on February 27, 2012. I was incredibly emotional over the news of the senseless violence aimed at high school students. The tragedy unfolded slowly as those who were injured passed away one at a time over a span of a couple days. The shooting occurred in a neighborhood not too far from home - a good upperclass neighborhood much like my own. As I always do when these events occur - I thought about my own children sitting in their schools - presumably safe and sound. I cried a little for the families waiting to hear if their children would survive and I posted a few inspirational pins on Pinterest to show my support for the community. It was requested for viewers to do so through a local news station. Once my own children (daughters ages 6, 7, and 11) arrived home I switched off the news and I didn't tell them about the shootings. I really didn't think it would touch their young lives and why scare them? BOY WAS I WRONG?
The day after the Chardon High School shooting I was at my computer reading Hubs and waiting another 30 minutes to go to my youngest daughter's school to volunteer. The phone rang and it was the automated call system the school uses to mass-inform parents of something at the school. The recorded voice was my oldest daughter's school principal informing parents that a bomb threat had been called in to the high school - all students had been evacuated safely and all other schools in the district had been locked down for the students' safety. Instantly I feared for my daughter because her school is located beside the high school. The principal encouraged parents NOT to pick up students so the school day could progress as normal for the children. Five minutes later I got another call from another school where my middle daughter attends. A repeat from the first message. Okay - breathe deep and don't panic. I decided to get ready to go to my youngest daughter's school to volunteer when the phone rang again. This time it was the principal making the call from the baby's school. Same message, same urging parents to leave the students to finish off the day. I wiped my eyes, put on my brave face, and went to my youngest daughter's school. At least I would get a better feel from there when I showed up to volunteer. It was refreshing to hear all the tiny giggles and footsteps in the building once I arrived. The teachers did appear to be a little more tense and the principal was conducting patrols of all the halls but overall everything seemed "normal".
School should be a safe place for children
I finished up my time at the preschool / kindergarten building and rushed home before my oldest daughter got off the school bus. I wanted to be available to talk in case she had any questions. I was not prepared for her reaction. You see - my daughter's class is outside in a trailer to make extra room for students because another building closed last year. So she saw all the commotion at the high school 'perfectly'. She watched all the students file out of the building and accumulate in the parking lot by her trailer. She watched as fire and police and bomb units arrived on scene to search the building. Then she saw her teacher fly into a blur of colors as she hung up her cell phone, raced to close the window blinds and jammed the lock on the door. The teacher had to shout over the confused students to regain control. My daughter had heard about the Chardon High School shootings in the hall earlier in the day - all the students were talking about it. So she immediately thought a shooter was loose in her school.
When she got home she was still a little shocked and asked me why I didn't come for her when all her other friends were leaving. I had to explain that most of the students picked up also had brothers or sisters in the high school and the parents were already there. Then my daughter started to ask questions about the bomb threat. How could she feel safe now? What if there was a bomb tomorrow? What if someone showed up to her school with a gun? What would happen if she got shot at school? Why did a high school kid shoot other high school kids? Why did those kids have to die? It was sad for me to see my daughter so scared and not be able to help her feel safer when I knew I would send her off to school again the next day.
If I only ever get one chance to get one message across to anyone ever again, I hope for all to know just how terrifying these bomb threat pranks are to young children. The bomb threat doesn't just let high schoolers have the day off - it places terror into the hearts of all the other students who have to go back to that school the next day. It really does some damage to their little minds.
PoetikalyAnointed on May 09, 2019:
Thank you for the Poem and Post about the tragic events near your home several years ago.
The poem is very touching and real. I can't even try to comprehend that kind of trauma. Sad thing is, this Hub is as relevant today as it was 6 years ago.
What happened in 2012/2013 should be a non-issue now. There should've been nationwide programs to prevent situations like this. Teachers/Parents/Communities/Kids should have alternate options/resources at the ready to prevent another soul thinking this is the ONLY answer.
I not only place blame on the perps but those in and out of their lives-seen and unseen. I believe with every tragedy like this, there's info that's being kept from public knowledge.
There has been many of faces plastered on the news...social medias...newspapers...I doubt the "real" news is ever reported.
It's so sad and I pray for it to be forever silenced with the love, light & truth!
Anupama from Nepal on July 11, 2013:
cannot imagine the situation you and your kids went through.... :(
Wonderfully written poem...
Sondra (author) from Neverland on December 20, 2012:
wow psca, you hit the mark with that one. I hate to suggest this because then I will lose such a wonderful comment...but you should publish that poem as a Hub. If you choose to do that please let me know and I will remove your comment so you don't get hit with "duplicate content" violation (duplicate cuz its on here and then you are also publishing it). Its a beautiful heart-felt poem. Thank you for sharing it here.
TheManWithNoPants from Tucson, Az. on December 19, 2012:
psca17 on December 15, 2012:
I wrote this poem yesterday morning after I heard about what happenned thought Id share it
As we sit and complain that our life is unfair
I work too hard, I’m too stressed to care
The actions of a man we say we despise
Today took the souls of innocent lives
But why does it take despair such as this this
To bring us together in the name of peace
So please save a prayer for the innocent ones
That were taken away by a man with a gun
While we only bear this burden for a number of weeks
There are the families out there with tears forever on their cheeks
They will never forget their little ones
Who will never see the age of 21
Who will never again, run, grow and play
They will never forget a second of this day
So in a number of weeks when Christmas draws near
Save a moment, a thought, or even a tear
For the families that sit with a tree full of presents
And a silence that haunts a house with its presence
No laughter, no playing and no Christmas cheer
No puddings, no stocking and no coal to fear
Twenty-seven lives taken in a second
Some even so young they weren’t even eleven
Rest in peace little angels, may your souls rest in heaven
Sondra (author) from Neverland on November 24, 2012:
Hi Vinaya, wow I haven’t come back to this Hub in a long time. Reading it again just breaks my heart. I am so glad to know the community has healed – but I still wonder about the kids who are in that school.
Hi pstraubie, thank you so much for reading this and feeling the emotions behind it. I wonder if my own kids even remember what happened that day – they’re so young and time moves so fast for them now. Coming back to this reminds me of how fortunate I am every day that my kids come home to me. I wish I could just hug and comfort all the people who lived and still live with this.
Hi Zayleen, I wish you could post it too – I bet it would help so many people heal.
RosePetals, I don’t know how some of these kids survive something like this to move on and be healthy adults. Im sure they must – but the scars surely live on for eternity. I don’t know if anyone ever could prepare a kid for this. Its scary…so much for being safe. Thank you for reading
Sereseus, thank you – I wish I didn’t have to witness the fear and sadness to express it. These poor babies =(
Hi LIB, thank you for your kind words.
Salini from India on November 07, 2012:
A very honest poem depicting the fear and confusion raging inside a naïve mind.
Albin Pius from kerala,India on October 28, 2012:
You have expressed an innocent mind very beautifully.:)
GlstngRosePetals from Wouldn't You Like To Know on September 24, 2012:
Scary article i could only imagine what it would be like to be sitting next to a kid and then walk out in the hallway and hear that whizz by my head feel the burn and tear in my shoulder then turn around and see that kid with the gun pointed at me. and realize i was just shot. Yes i do think this would scar someone for life. As to how do you prepare you children for this? Start teaching them respect and understanding at an early age. Voted up!!!
brittney from lost in my own minds lines on September 17, 2012:
very beautiful. I have a song written about the very same thing, wish i could post it but it was a collaboration between me and my ex husband.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on September 16, 2012:
Oh, my. I cannot imagine your fear. Your daughter's fear. I can only shake my head and say how glad I am you children were spared but how sad I am that they had to endure the fear especially the child who watched it evolve. How sad this happens. It makes me sad and angry. School should be a safe place but it seems that no place is a safe place any more, and I am not a cynic.
That you would write a poem 'through a child's eyes' gives voice to their fears and concerns and validates them.
Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on July 07, 2012:
Though this has not happened in my country, hundreds of children have been killed in Nepal due to bomb blasts and shooting.
Your poem is sad but your have written wonderfully.
Sondra (author) from Neverland on June 14, 2012:
Hi Melovy, good to see you here. I love the info you shared from the UK study. That just goes to prove my theory that my kids WILL need me just as much when they're teens as they did when they were very young. I understand your reaction to 9/11 with your daughter. I tried to shield mine from all of it too (on the anniversary - one was only 4 months old when it happened and the other two weren't born until a few years later). But kids have a way of picking up on things...just like you said.
Hi girishpuri, thank you so much for taking the time to read this. It's a sad topic but one I needed to get out. I wasn't sure how it would be taken so Im glad you understood what I wanted to say.
Girish puri from NCR , INDIA on June 08, 2012:
very touchy and written from the core of yr heart, many readers have already discussed it, just i have to say ' voted up '
Yvonne Spence from UK on June 07, 2012:
Ardie, this was very touching. You express feelings that I sure many parents share, especially that sense of wanting to protect your children. When my older daughter was 3 and very sensitive (Snow White was too scary because her mother died) I thought I should shield her from information about 9/11, but she saw a newspaper with rows of photos of the men involved and wanted to know who they were, and why all their photos where there. KIds definitely pick up on the atmosphere, so I think you are right with what you say in the comments about approaching your kids about difficult topics before they hear elsewhere.
I also thought you might like to know that research in the UK backs up what you said here: "I think the root of all this is too many unsupervised kids left to their own devices.”
A study here found that teenagers who spend more time with parents and who feel connected to them are less likely to smoke, drink, take drugs or indulge in underage sex. (There have also been other studies years ago that found the same thing.) Kids need loving guidance and many just don’t get that.
Thanks for sharing this, it’s a very important subject.
Sondra (author) from Neverland on May 28, 2012:
Hi Ruchira :) Thanks so much for reading. This Hub is one that is especially close to my heart - all those poor kids. Its sad what they have to learn to live with at such a young age.
Ruchira from United States on May 24, 2012:
gosh...heart rendering Ardie. But, you laid the facts out beautifully.
Truth sure stinks in the above matter but, kids learnt it the hard way (sob sob)
voted up as interesting and useful.
Sondra (author) from Neverland on May 10, 2012:
Xstatic, that's rough to have such a tragedy so close to home. So it turns out these acts have indeed been around for quite some time. I don't think I will ever understand the why either. If there's an answer out there as to why - I hope someone finds it soon.
Jim Higgins from Eugene, Oregon on May 09, 2012:
I just can't understand all this violence directed at schools, students and teachers. One of the first was next door to my town,in Springfield, Oregon. It seems to happen somewhere way too often. So much random violence in our society makes us wonder what can be done. Up & all but certainly not funny.
Sondra (author) from Neverland on May 06, 2012:
Hello silverstararrow, I appreciate that you took the time to read this. It’s not easy to hear about kids hurting and being scared. It breaks my heart right in two. I sorta used this poem to help get some of my own confusion out. It is beyond me how kids can hurt other kids or how adults can hurt children. And then to see it so close to home is just horrifying. You hit the nail on the head – the fact that our world isn’t safe for our children is indeed a matter of grave concern. It will only get worse before it gets better.
Hi Sharyn, this was even closer to you than it was to me. I was so concerned about you because it seemed to get you a little down. I remember seeing a clip a week or so after the incident and the school let the students create (I think it was) a heart on the football field to come together and show healing and support. I still keep all those kids in my thoughts.
Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on May 03, 2012:
I was totally glued to the TV for days after the Chardon tragedy. No doubt it all seemed even worse being SO close to home as I know it is for you too Ardie. Thank you for writing this and sharing your family's reaction. This needs to be talked about and not forgotten.
Arati Nair from Scottsdale on May 01, 2012:
The poem is a thing of beauty. The confusion and pain the child feels is really hearbreaking. We know of such incidents through newspapers and other media; something that's happening in another continent is often indifferently dismissed. However, such brutality? I don't even think brutality is the right word. 'Cos how can the guy in the pic be described as brutal? Hope pranks of such magnitude don't escalate to become the cause of someone's grief.
There is no 'why' of course...and only those directly involved as victims pay the price. The fact that our world isn't safe for even our children is indeed a matter of grave concern.
Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 30, 2012:
Thanks Pooh. I hate to think I go off on rants :) The shooting was horrible. I actually went out of my way to avoid any newsstories about it because I would get all depressed about those poor kids.
Hi Dim, I kept trying to come up with a 'why' and a 'how could someone' but I just can't wrap my mind around it. Thanks for reading.
Dim Flaxenwick from Great Britain on April 28, 2012:
This is an horrendous episode for your family and others to go through.
I cnnot imagine how terrifying it must have been. My heart goes out to all families involved in any of these ridiculous school shootings and bomb scares.
I cannot find a answer to the ´´WHY´´?
Poohgranma from On the edge on April 28, 2012:
Not ranting at all. This was such a tragedy for everyone, directly involved or caught in the scatter. I followed any article I could find on it for weeks ... trying to find a "why" somewhere, anywhere and of course, there was none.
Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 28, 2012:
Hi kidscrafts, I cannot even begin to imagine the horror the students felt who had to live through this or the fear of the parents when the news first broke. I think I would’ve had a nervous breakdown. I remember reading an update on the Columbine shooting and many of the students who survived committed suicide or started drugs. Its so sad. My kids are doing fine now – I think they’re still just young enough that they bounce right back (plus the threat was only that and nothing real for them). Thanks for reading and for the vote
Hi Steve:) You’re right – this is the 21st century and there is NO excuse for this violence. Sadly its all over the world. I try my hardest to keep my girls close and safe. They don’t always appreciate it but I can't help it. Thanks for all your kind words – we’re doing fine. It’s the families who lost children that are in my heart.
Hello Poohgranma, I know how you felt. I wasn’t even going to publish this on HubPages – I initially wrote the poem in a very raw form just to get out how it felt to have my daughter asking such difficult questions and to help myself grieve for all the families who were touched by this. I sat on it for quite a while for two reasons – 1) it was personal to me and 2) I didn’t want to look like I was trying to get traffic from a tragedy. Im glad you appreciated the emotion in this one. I wish it would stop people from doing these violent acts or from making the violent threats. Five schools in surrounding neighborhoods had bomb threats the same time we did and immediately after the shooting. Its awful for people to follow such an event with more terror. Gosh, I just realized Im ranting…sorry.
Poohgranma from On the edge on April 28, 2012:
I tried three times to write about this when it happened but trashed them all. I couldn't do justice to the emotions, the loss or the terror both of these acts caused.
You have done them justice and more. The added perspective of your children's reaction and fear completes it. Thanks for such a brilliant write about a subject that, unfortunately, needs to be discussed.
Steve Mitchell from Cambridgeshire on April 28, 2012:
My heart goes out to you all. This is the 21st century and should not be happening. These psycho's should be locked up and the key thrown away at the very least. There is so much violence now in the world that we just never know what will happen next.
Keep those girls of yours close and protect them for as long as you can. It is times like these that really make us appreciate how lucky we are to still have them as the families who are now grieving must be at their wits end.
Try to have a normal and happy weekend.
I am thinking of you all.
You get all the votes obviously except the f one.
kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on April 27, 2012:
School shooting must be a terrible experience first for the kids who have to live through it, for the teachers and for the families. I think that kids that live through that are in some extent marked for life. I am sure that for a while they will look behind there back wondering if there is any danger. It is really sad that those type of things happen. I hope that your kids are feeling better now.
Voted up and interesting.
Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 27, 2012:
Hello Eman, I agree with you for the most part. I do think teachers need to step and help children realize consequences for their actions - however - it is more the responsibility of the parents to make sure the kids know right from wrong and how to deal with different situations. Thanks for reading.
Hi Martie-dear, you hit the nail on the head. Senseless stupid and tragic these things. Thanks for the vote girl.
Martie Coetser from South Africa on April 26, 2012:
What a terrible tragedy school shootings are! Unbelievable! The shock, fears and simply knowing that it happened and could happen again cut deep into the soul.
I can just imagine how you must have felt, Ardie...
Voted up, well-written and a horrible reality to face :)
The original Eman from london on April 25, 2012:
This is a great poem ardie and it kills to me think that children are no longer safe in shcools anymore.Teachers need to play a bigger role in these kids lives and not just teach the syllabus they have been given. When they are at school they meet so many people and are influenced by many things and so we need a system where we have teachers not only who educate but teach them about life and the consqeunces certain actions they take can do. Let's be creative and show them these consequnces and not just hope that our children turn out good some day.
Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 24, 2012:
Hello TTombs, your story about the little boy who brought a knife and gun to school is awful! Where does a 6 year old even learn about that type of violence and means of dealing with frustration?? I have a 6 year old and she still talks to imaginary friends and cries if a butterfly has a bent wing. When she is upset she cries and then comes to me for help with the situation. It’s a scary place out there
Hi PDX, thanks for taking the time to read this and comment.
Hi Marcy, I know things like this will always happen – but I wonder if the kids really know all the consequences of their actions before they act. Probably not. So then numerous young lives are ruined all for something silly like a small argument or a young love triangle. Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings on this.
Hello tsmog :)when I signed up for this mom thing I never EVER realized just how worried I would be for the rest of my life!
Hi AEvans, I don’t know how the kids deal with all the stress – scary violence, all the testing, so competitive. I don’t remember school being like this! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on April 24, 2012:
OMG Ardie! I couldn't imagine being a teenager in today's world. So stressful and so sad. The poem stood alone and spoke for itself. Thumbs up! :)
Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on April 24, 2012:
Powerful, heartfelt, and joyous your family is well. I don't envy being a mom just now. I offer hugs and good cheer, while tipping a hat to your courage too.
Prayers are with you all . . .
Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on April 23, 2012:
This is a powerful message of how these incidents terrorize entire communities. I can't imagine your stress at hearing those ominous phone messages (with your kids at separate schools, no less), and then trying to 'act normal.'
There is no 'normal' in the face of such insanity. And how can we protect our children from feelings of fear and terror?
Thanks for putting that day and your insight into words. Voted up, useful and awesome.
Justin W Price from Juneau, Alaska on April 20, 2012:
i hadn't heard of this shooting... btu I'm so sorry your children went through this.n I'm also glad they're okay now. Well put, my friend...
Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on April 20, 2012:
Ardie, so sorry your children and you had to go through that. It's a shame that "safe places" are becoming more and more scarce. Last year, a 6 year old brought a knife and gun to my son's school (my son was 4 and special needs). The only reason the 6 year old gave was that another kid said something he didn't like and he wanted to teach him a lesson. What happened to verbal communication without violence? So sad. Your hub takes a perfect snapshot of what's going on in our society today. Timeless. In 10 or 50 years, someone will be able to read it and feel exactly what you were feeling and experiencing. Well done. Voted up and all that.
Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 19, 2012:
Hi Eddy, there really isn’t anything to say other than how horrible these events are. Its scary that we can do what is within our power to keep our kids young and to keep them safe – but sometimes it just isn’t enough. Thanks for taking the time to read.
Thomas, yes you did ask about this the day it happened. It was a sad day, one that I thought I could keep away from my kids but I always forget that the other kids in school watch tv and hear the news – doh! Thanks for reading and sharing my friend.
Hi Tammy, I think this all stems from home as well. I had a strict upbringing and I was taught about consequences for my actions. I never would’ve thought to act out like this. I just hope someone somehow can get an idea of how to fix this soon.
Tillsontitan, So this problem is becoming world-wide. Its sad to know kids are doing this to other kids. Where does the anger come from?! I always felt safe and relaxed at school – we rarely even had fights. It was small – I think my graduating class was all of 33 students and we ALL graduated! I do wish this will end and our children can feel safe once again. Thank you for reading this and commenting.
Mary Craig from New York on April 17, 2012:
Everyone has pretty much covered the range of emotions your poem and it's follow-up explanation have evoked. You write with deep emotion (poem) and the sadness of a concerned mother (follow-up experience). How tragic children have to deal with this in our country. Years ago we hosted children from Ireland because they were dealing with similar situations, 'nough said about that, but now 'the troubles' are here! We can only pray that this madness will someday stop and our world will return to a normal, safe place, especially in school!
Tammy from North Carolina on April 17, 2012:
This is such a tragic story that so many children have had to endure. I can't imagine it happening while any of my children were at school. This is a real epidemic that isn't being addressed like it should be.. starting at home. I am glad all are well, but as I mom I can imagine the emotional rollercoaster ride it was for you. Thanks for sharing this with other parents.
ThoughtSandwiches from Reno, Nevada on April 17, 2012:
Absolutely beautiful poem. I remember reading when this happened (sadly ...each year it seems to become more prevalent). This one stands out, however, because I recall asking you about the proximity to your house and kids.
You have caught the emotion amazingly. Will share everywhere!
Eiddwen from Wales on April 17, 2012:
There is not too much left to be said on here is there.
What a cruel world even when we protect our children as much as we can!!
Thanks for sharing and writing it all wonderfully.
Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 16, 2012:
Hello Made. The world is a crazy scary place. Thank you for reading.
Madeleine Salin from Finland on April 16, 2012:
This is a really touching hub. I can't even imagine how it feels for you and your children. We have had a couple of school shootings here in Finland too. It's really scary how they spread, not only in USA, but also in the rest of the world. Great hub!
saday from India on April 15, 2012:
Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 15, 2012:
Thank you saday :)
saday from India on April 15, 2012:
very nice Ardie. Well written. Its is really beautiful. Voted up.
Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 15, 2012:
Hello Raci, It is very sad. What a struggle it must be for you to know you are only one and there are many students you have to keep safe – as well as keeping yourself safe! But what you do as a teacher is so very important for the children.
Hi Vespawolf, thanks for the sympathy. It sucked for us because I hate seeing my kids scared. But its really about the students who live through this…they’re strong little people. Thanks for reading.
Hi Audrey, Im afraid I am going your route and getting accustomed to the violence and just accepting it as a way of life. Writing this did feel good when I did it. But I still have a heavy heart for any kid that lives with this. I just wish I could grab them all up and hug them forever.
Hello Debby,you bring up an excellent point. I remember bomb threats at my high school too. And I don’t recall being scared – I think because we knew they were also false alarms. I will have to ask my mom how she reacted when she learned of the threats at my school. I do know I told my mom about the lockdown drills the school does with my kids and she wasn’t all too shocked. She said it wasn’t any worse than the bomb drills they had to do in the late 50’s and early 60’s.
Hello ImKarn23 , I agree it’s terrifying to watch what’s happening. I often wonder if I did my kids any favors bringing them into this crazy world. But they seem pretty happy so… I wasn’t even going to mention the school shooting to my daughters but my oldest heard all about it in school the next day anyway. Note to self: approach topics with my kids before other KIDS get the chance. My youngest is in kindergarten and she conducts the under-the-desk drill too. Sad…
Karen Silverman on April 15, 2012:
This world has devolved so quickly - it's terrifying! Children should NOT be asking these questions or have personal knowledge of bombs, guns, and sudden, violent death! Innocence is a thing of the past - we have to teach our kindergartners how to take the proper position under their desks when nutcases bring automatic weapons to school (don't get me started on the f'ing 2nd amendment - ok,boys - have at me now..). This made me sob! I'm sooooo sorry!
Debby Bruck on April 14, 2012:
Dear Ardie ~ Many prayers sending your way. The world can be such a scary place, and children today hear too many frightening stories. In your case, very close to home. I hope the school provides counseling for both the kids and parents on how to deal with these occurrences.
We had bomb threats to my high school on a regular basis in the late 1960s and we just filed outside as told. I can't even remember now how I reacted since this was a time of political upheaval, nuclear threats and many divisions in the world.
I suppose things haven't changed that much, although parents must be more protective than ever of their children's safety.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, touching poems and news of these events. Blessings, Debby
Audrey Howitt from California on April 14, 2012:
We live in such a difficult time--we are inundated with violence and in some measure, have grown accustomed to it--I am so sorry that it touched your family in this way--I thought your poem was such a wonderful way to write about your feelings around your experience--and to unpack them in a meaningful way.
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on April 14, 2012:
Ardie, I'm so sorry you and your family went through this. The shootings keep happening and it's scary. I love your poem.
raciniwa from Talisay City, Cebu on April 14, 2012:
Oh, this is so sad Ardie...knowing that i am a teacher too...how can we really protect the children?great poem...
Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 13, 2012:
Hello Lord, I am indeed an emotional basket case. It always amazes me that my kids can stay calm when all I do is overreact and cry. Thanks for coming in
Hello Victoria Lynn, thanks for reading. I sat on this one for a month because it was just too much. Empathy isn’t always a good thing and my heart aches for the families who have to live with the scars from something like this.
Hello Poetic (not a) Fool, while I do not wish these feelings on any parent it is nice to know I am not alone with my concern for my children yet I send them to school anyway. What is a parent to do?! I can only thank goodness I didn’t have school aged kids during Columbine – what a huge tragic event.
Hi thoughtforce, you nailed my whole Hub perfectly. How does a parent make sense out of something for her children when it didn’t make any sense to begin with?? It’s crazy what these kids think to do. I don’t remember any of the kids at my school even threatening to act out in such a deadly manner.
Hi RighterOne, I sure hope my daughter can keep the innocence for a very very long time. It seems like kids learn more at an earlier age now. She is 11 and asked me how the news would report her death! Come ON! I don’t recall worrying about dying at that age…. Its sad.
Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 13, 2012:
Hi CC, omg’sh. You were close to Columbine – so sad. When will this all end? I sure hope your friends have recovered from the shooting. I have heard so many bad stories about the futures of the kids involved in it. Many never found the strength to move on. I bet it’s scary as heck to be a teacher now! You’re not only responsible for test scores and homework but you need to be responsible for the safety of an entire class should something happen. Oh, girl – you’re stronger than I am.
Hi Chatkath, part of who I am requires that I write things out in order to express them…I can’t just say them to my husband or a friend. I can’t operate that way because I hate to sound like I’m complaining. So I write. I was livid and very emotional the day my daughter asked me the questions in the poem and I sat and watched it all just come out onto the word doc. Thank you for taking the time to read my rant and plea.
Hello Carter06, I do hug my babies lots. They’re just so squishy. Luckily my oldest seems to have gotten “over” the trauma of the days. I know the kids at Chardon High School aren’t so lucky and it breaks my heart for them. I want to reach out and hug all of them too!
Hello BlossomSB, thank you so much for reading. I wish I knew how these things kept happening – maybe then we could find a fix. Maybe one day…
Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 13, 2012:
Hello Hippie-Girl, thanks for reading. I know what you mean about the other school shootings. Even though they were further away they still broke my heart as a mom. Its so senseless. And then I wonder if the suspect(s) are even truly aware of the actions they are taking.
Hi Maria, thanks for the votes. Gosh, as stupid as this sounds your words got me all emotional again. Dang it! You’re right – it IS foul and it should never be an issue for these babies. I will never be able to understand these acts. It just makes my heart fall.
Hello Jon, thanks. You are so very young still, you must remember a lot of this happening while you were still in school. Did it scare you? Did it make you want to stay home? Or did you just accept it as part of life and move ahead?
Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 13, 2012:
Hi JAS, I know how scared my own kids were so I can’t even come close to knowing how the kids at the shooting site feel. These poor kids have to learn to deal with too much now. Golly, can you put yourself in the place of a parent of a teen at that school? What would you say to your son or daughter? Thanks for reading
Hi christinekv! Thank you so much for stopping in to see this one. It’s a very dear one to me. Took a month to get it out there because I didn’t want people to think I was using the tragic news as a topic to get traffic. This is one of those Hubs that come from the heart. I don’t know the solution but yours sounds like the best place to start!
Hi Cardisa, the boy was a student at the school. He went in and shot fellow students in the morning. No real word yet on the motive that I have heard. I don’t know how the kids go back to the building after this – I wouldn’t know whether to make my daughter go back to show her how to overcome or if I would let her stay home to learn from that point on. I just hope these parents get psychological help for their kids if they need it. Poor babies.
Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 13, 2012:
Hi Bill, thanks so much for taking the time to read. It is horrible every time I see it happen. It doesn’t get easier from year to year to see what these kids do to each other. It breaks my heart and I can't help but wonder what the future will be like.
Hi RHW, It is sad and I wish there was something I could do about it. But all we can do is watch our children and encourage them to speak out about any odd behaviors they see from other kids. But really – that’s so much to ask of young people who are self-absorbed by nature. I recall two events sorta like this when I was in school. Once was in 2nd grade a boy brought a gun to school and was waving it around at all the teachers. But I don’t know if he really knew what he was doing. He just kept laughing and laughing until the police tackled him. Another was in high school. It was back when schools left doors unlocked all day long. A girl came to the school with a gun demanding to see a student she was obsessed with. It’s a scary scary world in which we are trying to raise our children.
Hi Gypsy Rose Lee :) You are lucky you were able to get an education safely and without feeling scared. Sadly I think this is just becoming a way of life for these students. They even practice “lock downs” just as frequently as they practice for a tornado or fire. I think the root of all this is too many unsupervised kids left to their own devices. But then again – I don’t know. Im still a newer mom.
RighterOne from Chicago, Illinois - USA on April 13, 2012:
This is beautiful, Ardie. It brought me to tears - thank you for writing it. The simple truth is that children see the world through eyes of innocence (the best way) - an ability that many or most adults tend to lose as they 'grow up.'
Christina Lornemark from Sweden on April 13, 2012:
The poem said it all, and told me all the anxiety and horror you and your family went through that day! This must be the worst thing that can happen to parents and how can you explain something that is impossible to understand! It makes no sense at all!
Poetic Fool on April 13, 2012:
Ardie, this is so heartbreaking and tragic. My kids are all pretty much grown now but they weren't during the Columbine incident. I remember those same questions coming from their mouths, trying to quell those same fears. Having to coax them to go to school the next day. This was a wonderful write, Ardie, but one that shouldn't have needed to be written. Thanks for sharing it!
Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on April 13, 2012:
Gosh, Ardie, this gave me chills. The poem was so beautifully written, expressing what those poor children must be going through. And your own children! What a horrifying experience! So sorry you had to go through that. Thanks for sharing this.
Joseph De Cross from New York on April 13, 2012:
Oh my..! You showed us how emotional you can get and with much reason. Hope your kids understand the real world out there!
Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on April 13, 2012:
You have described this tragic event so poignantly. How can these things happen in our world today? Voted up.
Mary from Cronulla NSW on April 12, 2012:
Ardie I just popped in to catch your latest hub and am so shocked for you! What an awful experience to go through you poor mama! Thank you for writing such a heartfelt recount for us...your poor babies be sure to hug them lots:)
But how is it possible that one so young can even contemplate doing such a terrible thing...such heartache for so many. So sad to hear this Ardie.
Kathy from California on April 11, 2012:
Not only a tragedy but this one really hits home for you Ardie yet you took the time and energy to share the conflicting feelings of panic and rage! Thank you. Incredibly thought provoking and heartfelt Hub.
Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on April 11, 2012:
Ardie - hugs to you. I didn't think about how close you might have been to this event. I can relate: I had friends in the Columbine shooting. I was attending college an hour away, but friends in my classes had to drop everything to try to go be near their brothers and sisters at Columbine. I also taught school for a year a few miles from there. It's weird how this stuff is happening to our schools. There's the whole testing frenzy and the shooting frenzies. Sheesh. It makes me wonder if we should all go back to the one-room neighborhood school houses. Eh, probably not, but I just wish I could figure out what is going on and why so many people seem to be "snapping". Fantastic hub, and your kindness and warmth show through, as always.
Jonathan McCloskey from Cinnaminson, New Jersey on April 11, 2012:
Such a powerful Hub, really puts it into perspective what the kids in school could actually be feeling if they heard of or had these events happen to them. Good job, Ardie, and thank you for sharing.
Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on April 11, 2012:
Oh my dear Ardie,
Written with your heart, written with the love of a Mother so deep, written about a subject so foul it should not even be an issue for these delicate minds... and yet, all too sadly, it has become a reality.
Your words are riveting, moving and expressed with eloquence. Voted UP & UAI. Love, Maria
Janelle from Oklahoma, USA on April 11, 2012:
What an awful experience, it gave me chills. This, though, is the experience of all of the school shootings that have taken place, how DO you explain that the face of a young boy is the "bad guy." You can't. This was very touching, I respect it a lot.
Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on April 11, 2012:
Wow, what a tragedy. I have heard of these kinds of shootings before. I had no idea there was one in February of this year. This is heart wrenching. That boy, was he a student at the school?
How can any child feel safe to return to school, especially that exact school? It breaks my heart.
christinekv on April 11, 2012:
Hi Ardie - What can I say but "WOW"? Great poem - and then how you elaborate and share yours and your girls experience through the rest of the hub...awesome job. You show (in contrast to "telling")oh so well. It should cause every reader to stop and ponder......at the very least.
I know the many people feel compassion and empathy. There are so many stories in the news these days which indicate how rampant a spirit of lawlessness is in this nation. It is disheartening and I hope hearts have not grown cold and callous. The solution I feel involves being on our knees.
Hope your hub is widely read and will have a positive impact. Thanks for sharing and God bless you and yours.
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on April 11, 2012:
Oh Ardie, Sorry I'm at a loss for words. I cannot imagine what you and your children went through. What a nightmare.
Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on April 11, 2012:
Voted up and awesome Ardie. I got lucky to finish up high school and even university in N.Y.C. before these type of things became common. I don't think my mom could get me out the door if I had to attend school with stuff like this going on. I know God will always be there to protect and guide the children but there is always but... I sure hope your children will always be safe and out of harms way. There's something in this crazy, modern world that's affecting the kids who go crazy and I sure hope they find a way to get to the root of it all.
Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on April 10, 2012:
That's so terrible Ardie. I have girls I believe the same age as yours. This is a scary reality. I never heard of this sort of thing when we were young - not ever! I'm sorry your poor kids had to witness that - it's so unfair the burdens these kids have today.
The internet and technology sure seem to have made some profound changes that seem backward with all the leaps and bounds we have come forward. Senseless. Voted up.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 10, 2012:
Oh my dear, I'm so sorry! What a horrible sequence of events. No, it does not look like the face of a bad guy and that is what is so damn frightening about it...it could be any child at any school.
My sympathies for your children. I know they are very lucky to have such a loving mother.