I wish this generation had a Mr. Rogers. Seriously, was there no one to inherit this man’s wisdom? Obviously he learned a lot from mother, assuming that her advice to children about scary disasters is representative of all her advice.
My only issue with her statement was that a lot of the images we have to wade through to get to the helpers are too raw. For adults– let alone for small children.
I went and selected some Look For the Helper pictures that reinforced the words in the message without being terrifying.
They will accompany my very brief, very basic explanation. And if this sounds like a scripted speech that I’m practicing on y’all… well, yeah.
A 20 year old man with a very sick brain got very angry on Friday, and he didn’t have anyone to help him take deep breaths and calm down. He got so angry that he stole his mom’s guns and went to a nearby school to hurt innocent people– teachers and students. It was a big school though, and because all of the adults in the school acted very quickly, more people were safe than hurt.
The kids helped, too, by listening to their teachers and doing exactly what they practiced during safety drills. That’s why they have those drills, you know– to practice for an emergency.
Lots of people are very sad– even Mommy and Daddy– even without knowing the sick man, or any of the people who were hurt. We wish that all of the sick people in this country had a safe place where they could get the help they need to get themselves under control.
The 20 year old with the gun wasn’t evil– he was sick. The teachers and kids he killed didn’t do anything wrong.
I don’t know why this happened– and I wish I did– but I do know that it doesn’t happen often.
I also know that the two* of you are SAFE. In school tomorrow and for the rest of the year– You are SAFE.
There are kids in school tomorrow whose parent may not want them to know– and that’s okay. If someone starts to talk about what happened and it’s making you uncomfortable or sad, it’s also okay to walk away. I’d prefer that y’all not discuss it at all without an adult present.
*I’m not telling Elliot right off; I’m hoping to avoid it unless Zach tells him first.