Value of school emerges through Sandy shooting

by Solinna Chong, Associate Editor

When many of us think of school, we think of detentions, early mornings and homework. We focus on the negative aspects of school rather than on the good.

This week, our nation has been heartbroken by the tragic event at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.  As of press time, there have been 28 confirmed deaths, including the shooter and his mother.  Unfortunately, there were 27 innocent people who woke up hoping for another fun-filled day of school, yet they were tragically silenced.

School is supposed to be a safe haven for students and teachers alike. It is a place where you know you are safe and surrounded by people who love you.

My little brother, currently in the third grade, wakes up every morning at 6:30 a.m. just to have breakfast with me.  He gets so excited in the morning talking about school and meeting all of his friends and teachers.  My little brother participates in the school’s math team, creative writing club and school band. As young as he is, I can definitely see him growing up to be a talented person.  Children love school, and they should not be stripped of that privilege.  To think that there are certain individuals willing to attack a child’s haven is beyond my belief.

On that note, 20 young kids were taken from us that day, but let us not forget the seven faculty members who were also taken away.  These remarkable people protected the 700 other students who could have suffered the same fate, but did not thanks to the educators’ brave actions.

I remember reading a story from the Daily Times about a first grade teacher named Victoria Soto who hid her students in the closet and cabinets to keep them safe.  The shooter approached her, and she lied and said her kids were in the gym.  Soto sacrificed her life for the sake of her students.

Another heroic story was of a janitor who ran up and down the halls yelling, “Lock your doors!” and even led some students to the safety.  These are just two stories of the remarkable teachers and people there that day, and there are probably many more.

Although tragic, we should not forget the heroism exhibited that day. It is hard to see goodness out of an event like this, but be proud of  those who risked lives.

Sadly, what happened at Sandy Hook is not the first time our nation has seen such vile actions.

After Columbine in Littleton, Colo., you would think people would learn: nothing good comes from hateful violence.  President Barack Obama expressed this message through a special report aired on almost all local television stations.

Although there is little I can do now except send my prayers, my attitude toward school has changed.

After this tragic event, let what happened at Sandy Hook be a lesson to all students. Let school be an honor to attend rather than an obligation. Let Mondays be enjoyed rather than hated on. Let tests be taken with confidence rather than with anxiety. Let us not forget.

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