Bullet

It seems fitting to share this poem today, 9 years after Newtown. This is based off of an experience I had while student teaching the year that Newtown occurred.

Bullet

“Miss, would you take a bullet for us?” young Anthony asked,
the day after the Newtown shooting.
“It’s my job to protect you,” I responded,
a response that satisfied them all.


I was a student teacher; naïve and optimistic.

Though I grew both as a person and as a teacher,

Anthony’s question never left my mind.

Would I?

Years later, and, somewhere,

Anthony is now a man.

I wonder if he remembers asking
the question all of America now asks.

“Miss, would you take a bullet for us?”
rings with every lockdown drill, every active shooter in-service,
every locked classroom door,
every bullet-proof clipboard that is purchased.

It used to be so simple, to protect our students.

Draw the blinds. Lock the door. Hide by the teacher’s desk.

Now, as I kiss my own children and my wife goodnight, I wonder:

Why do we ask our teachers to take bullets for them?

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