*Editor's note. This has nothing to do with running. Please forgive me if this post seems self-serving. Writing, along with running, is a coping mechanism for me.
If you didn't read it, there was a shooting at an Omaha high school yesterday. The principal and vice-principal were shot by a student that walked in with his dad's Glock (his dad is an Omaha police detective). He mortally wounded the vice-principal before turning the gun on himself later on in a parking lot a few miles away. As of this post, the principal is in serious condition.
First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers go out to the everyone involved in this tragedy, including the parents of the gunman. I have a few colleagues there and I am grateful that they, nor any other student, was harmed during all of this.
Preliminary reports say that the suspect came back hours later after he was suspended by the vice-principal.
Essentially, the vice-principal died because she was doing her job.
When I left TV news and went into teaching, I could list all the positives with the career change: no more working nights, no being on-call, summer's off, etc. What they don't tell you before you start teaching is that you're going to have to know how to execute an intruder drill or that you have to watch for signs that a student might do something violent or that you have to keep a "presence" in the hallways so you can be aware of anything unusual. Believe me, everything at a high school is unusual. These days, we not only have to teach, but we have to become counselors, detectives, and - in this instance - human shields. Our priority is to protect the students. I get that. And I'd like to think that, God forbid this ever happened at my school, I wouldn't panic and I'd get my students to safety.
Is this what it has come to? Is this what teachers have to deal with now? Sadly, bomb threats, "hit lists", etc. are not very uncommon. I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I know I have a good gig and I do love teaching. The odds of this type of violence happening are pretty high, but they seem to dwindle every year.