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.
“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.
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?