I remember my first day of school. My mom hugged me, handed me my lunch, and began to cry. I didn’t understand why, and perhaps I won’t fully understand until I have children of my own, but by then I will have a very different reason to cry.
Today marks yet another school shooting, another death in a place we are raised to trust and feel safe in. Another student dead, another life cut short. I can’t help but harbor a fear for my own life.
We are not soldiers on battlefields thousands of miles away. We are students on our own soil, in places we often think of as second homes, and we are falling like flies, far from our natural time.
Violence has become an underlying tone to education, fear is just another hum to be droned out alike the ticks of clocks and buzz of florescent lights. Each day billions of students and scholars around the world enter places they trust. Places that have raised them up and shaped much of who they are. Places they look to help them be who they aspire to be. And it is in these places that fellow students fall. It is not a battlefield, because in these places, only the enemy is armed.
Has the price of education truly become so steep as to now demand blood?
Come Monday many of us will return to those places, seeking enlightenment, and hoping we may emerge each day alive.