The stories coming out of Ohio and Texas remain painful to watch.
For those of us who are not personally touched by the loss, it is impossible to imagine.
Trump’s teleprompter response, tone deaf and lacking in any vocal affect, was simply bizarre.
September will start the eighth school year since I retired from teaching.
As we turn the last corner of summer into August I got together this week with some of my ukulele-playing friends who will return to the classroom a week later than usual.
Why a week later?
Because my old school district is spending their limited dollars constructing what are the equivalent of air locks in every building. It is a security measure in case of an attempted entry by terrorists or a mad killer with an assault weapon.
They won’t be ready for the normal start of school, hence the delay.
To make up for it, next summer will be a week shorter.
At least the school board didn’t require classroom teachers to be locked and loaded.
I still recall the lock down drills we went through when I was in the classroom.
An announcement over the intercom.
I quickly gathered my students, some as young as five years old, under tables in a darkened room away from the front door as I reached around with my key to lock the door which could only be locked from the outside.
I was to try and keep them quiet for five minutes.
Good luck with that.
I quickly wrote down the names of students who were out of the room at the time.
Maybe with social worker.
Maybe in the toilet.
I always found this protocol strange since it seemed I was giving any possible intruder a list of kids to go look for.
Yet mostly I couldn’t help thinking what this all was doing to the heads of kids.
I flashed back on my own school days when we had drop drills in preparation for nuclear war.
At the word “drop” we crawled under our desks, crouching with hands behind our heads to protects us from flying glass.
I always wondered why flying glass was what I needed to worry about if Los Angeles was the successful target of a Russian ICBM.
But the fear was part of the collateral damage of the Cold War.
It is the same collateral damage that neighborhood violence and mass shootings, random or racist inspired, is creating now.