A Stolen Moment of Emotion (#sol23 Day 2/31)

I’m mad. I’m exhausted. I’m sad. But mostly, I’m mad.

Someone is calling in threats to our school district. Someone is calling in threats, our schools are going into Secure or Lockdown, misinformation is swirling like wildfire through our scared community, we’re building an incredible load of collective and individual (and generational??) trauma, and it’s all falling into the “swatting” hoax category.

There are a million reasons why this is not okay and why I (and hundreds of others, I’m sure) have felt like a pressure cooker of emotions over these recent weeks. This post isn’t to dive into those reasons, this post is simply meant to share a quick glimpse into my not-so-simple reality with my first and second graders, and also to give space to my own emotions.


Second grader: Kristina? Is this the same thing like last week when it was a secure lockdown?

Me: Well, Secure and Lockdown are actually two different things. We were in Secure last week, the other schools were in Lockdown last week, and we’re back in Secure today.

Second grader: Oh. Yeah, I remember that. But what’s the difference between the two things? If they’re not the same, then what’s the differences?

Me: It’s actually a pretty big deal. Secure is when the outer perimeter is locked but we can do our regular thing inside the building. Business as usual inside, right?

Second grader: Right. Like now, when we can’t go outside.

Me: Exactly. We’re in Secure.

Second grader: But what’s the lockdown mean?

Me: (deep breath) A Lockdown can be pretty intense. It’s when teachers and kids have to get together and – hold on, I’ll be right back…

I walked away. I had to exit the conversation. I couldn’t speak. This huge ball of emotion suddenly rose up through me and I knew that massive tears were coming. My instant internal picture of fellow teachers hiding, HIDING, in their classrooms with their students, not knowing what was going on, not knowing if someone was right outside their door? It was too much. I broke. I ducked into our office, had a quick but powerful cry, blew my nose, wiped my eyes, took a kazillion breaths, and walked back out to the classroom to finish my conversation as if nothing had even happened and I’d just needed that moment to go find something.

The fact that THAT was our collective reality yesterday? The fact that teachers (and parents and administrators and and and and) have to mask our own very real emotions so that we can show up as a present and calm and safe and solid grounding point for our students? The fact that these kids have only been on the planet for six or seven years and THIS is their reality? The fact that we’re teaching our young students about kindness and empathy and emotional identification and regulation and THIS is the type of behavior that impacts our schools? The fact that this happens across the country, in schools all over America, on an almost daily basis and that it’s becoming more commonplace and horrifically normalized than ever? The fact that someone thought that this would be a good joke?



Not okay.

Do better, humans.

15 thoughts on “A Stolen Moment of Emotion (#sol23 Day 2/31)

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  1. Kristina, Your story left me with a huge knot in my stomach. No one should be expected to “keep calm and carry on” as though it is normal. It isn’t. The thought of all of those innocent eyes looking for reassurance is more than overwhelming. Big hugs are all I have…but, I know how to hang on tight. XO

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear writingandlaughing:


    Though I know it is likely that this writing was justifiably penned with duress – I respectfully submit that it was beautifully framed.

    Currently, I wear many hats, among them a professor of research and writing. However, in reading your prose, I felt like a character in the animated movie, “Ratatouille,” who took a bite of a dish that thrusted him back into his childhood.

    Ironically, his was a pleasant journey. Mine, not so much. I recalled locking myself in my 2nd grade classroom; attempting to explain to my children where we would hide; how we would hide and why we would hide – in case their was a gunman there who “wasn’t well,” and might try to hurt us… I thought about the tiny class – that later seemed so very large – in Uvalde…

    And it made me so…sad. Exhausted. And mad. Mostly…sad.

    I hear your heart. I see your anguish. I share your angst.

    Last Thursday and yesterday, my two oldest sons’ high school was also on lockdown. For the same reasons. We are in Colorado – home of Columbine.

    It is exasperating.

    I am desperately awaiting the day when this isn’t “normal” anymore.

    Thank you for your vulnerability and your powerful voice.

    Both are priceless.

    ~Dr. Carla Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

  3. and and and indeed. This was a good use of repetition to show how frustrating and overwhelming your situation is. I’m glad you could use this space to release, just a little, and I hope it helps. Hang in there.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Certainly NOT OK. So glad you are there as a calm voice and strong heart for your students in explaining and managing a situation that shouldn’t even exist.

    Liked by 2 people

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