Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Couldn't Sleep - Too Much on My Mind

I have been thinking a lot about the school shootings that have been happening lately...

When I watched the coverage of the shooting in Quebec, especially the part where students were running away from the school to get away from the shooter, my mind went back to over 30 years ago. I couldn't help but cry, as if reliving the experience all over again.

It seems so surreal, as if the whole thing happened to someone else, and some of my memories are sketchy. I don't know for sure what I really saw or heard...

I remember being late from french class because I had a presentation. I know, I know, so often we say if only this had or had not happened, but in my case it is so true. I remember coming down the stairs during lunch time and seeing a deserted hallway. I opened the door and looked down the hallway. I saw a line of blood pools. A head popped out of the cafeteria and a hand signalled me to go away. Confusion and a feeling of doom came over me as I went back up the stairs and went outside. I saw people scrambling out of the home-ec classroom windows.

I remember feeling scared and concerned about finding all my friends and family. I stood at the front of the school in disbelief as rumours and facts became known to me. I am thankful to the Kerrs for coming to the school in search of all the SA kids and they drove us all home.

I remember arriving home and mom flying out of the house and how all I could say was, "We don't know where David is." I remember waiting, watching, feeling scared. I was glued to the television and the newspapers as they covered the event, hearing the personal stories and feeling concerned for classmates who had been shot.

I remember hearing MS's sister coming over the PA system on the morning we all returned to school apologizing on behalf of her family and thinking that it wasn't her fault so why would she feel she had to apologize.

I remember that a piece of my locker had been replaced and thinking it was a good thing I was late for lunch. God was looking out for me.

I remember being at camp the following summer and having a sudden feeling of dread and my heart pounding when a tire popped. It made me wonder if maybe I had heard some of the shooting afterall, maybe even the last shot.

It is hard to believe this ever happened in our quiet town. As a teacher in the same school district it amazes me how few people know that the shooting ever occurred. That shooting influenced so much in Ontario society - a gun registry and lock down procedures we are expected to practice today. Recently I was watching a brief CBC coverage of the first high school shooting in Canada - the one at BCSS. CBC is working on a special of the shooting. I imagine I will glued to it again....

5 comments:

jennyjackson4350636775 said...
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Evie Sears said...

Such a sad memory. When I was in 10th grade, a friend of mine, armed with a hunting rifle, held our history teacher hostage for awhile. A shooting was averted, but it was a scary afternoon all the same.

In the USA we've had 3 school shootings within the past week. Nevertheless, the NRA and its idiotic supporters will continue stifling all attempts at gun control.

Barbara said...

what a tragedy that was so many years ago ... and now it seems that every time we turn on the TV that same story is being played out over and over again.

Dave said...

Any school event gives us me pause because that day has been burned into my memory and it is filled with a range of emotions.

Joanne said...

With the education and training I have received over the years, I have come to learn that I, and many others who were at BCSS that day, suffer from post traumatic stress from one extent to another. Every time there is a shooting, my emotions too will well up and I remember sounds of the shots, the panic of running to get out of harms way, the horror as I saw some of my classmates who had been wounded, and the absolute terror I felt when we couldn't find David for a while. I also remember being questioned by the police during their investigation when we returned to school, as MS was in my homeroom and several other classes, and our lockers were attached.

I look back at how that experience has played a part in shaping my life. As a parent, I never allowed my children to play any games where there was shooting. They weren't even allowed to use their finger and point it as a pretend gun. Ironic now that Jenn is married to a police officer, and Jason is in the reserves, and was one of the top shooters in basic training. I still struggle with them having to use guns as a part of their job. I don't think I could ever allow a gun to be in my house. Ironic too that I now train our staff on post traumatic stress disorder and it's effects.