"Cause that's the America we live in" Guns to a Playground Fight by Gabrielle Zwi
This week, I want to take some time to remember and mourn the lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Tomorrow, December 14th, marks 10 years since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Sandy Hook massacre happened my first year teaching, and Uvalde happened in my last— it really shook me that in 10 years so little had changed. Some districts found funding (which is already so sparse) to improve security, but the United States has struggled to make nationwide change. I am dedicating this newsletter to those that lost their lives and have been so affected by school shootings.
- Healing in music: This beautiful and heartbreaking song by Gabrielle Zwi, a 2022 Columbia University grad who now teaches music and civics in after-school programs, expresses that sentiment from the perspective of a student growing up in the "school shooting generation". You can find the song, titled "Guns to a Playground Fight," through this link: https://www.gabriellezwi.com/livesrobbed
All profits from streaming/downloads and associated performances are being donated to Lives Robbed, an organization founded by families impacted by the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde, TX.
- Targeted Fundraising: Everytown rose from the pain of Sandy Hook to work tirelessly to prevent gun violence in the United States. Check them out, and if you're able make a donation today: https://www.everytown.org/
- The questions to ask: Finally, if you have children in school I know it must be on your mind how procedures are handled in case of an active shooter. If you are curious- check in any handbooks sent home and on the district's website for information first. Keep in mind lockdown procedures are kept with a certain amount of secrecy so they remain secure. If you are still wondering, it is ok to reach out to the teacher to ask if lockdown procedures have been taught.
The events that unfolded at Sandy Hook were tragic and left a horrible mark on the idyllic image elementary schools should have. Give your loved ones a hug today, check your voter registration, and think about what you have done to help our country move forward in a safer, peaceful direction. Sending all my love,
hopes, and prayers, progress, and change. ❤️
Here's a few things I've enjoyed lately:
- 🥧 Kringles! A few years ago I started a tradition of sending Christmas Kringles to my parents and in-laws. They are a beautiful and tasty wreath shaped pastry.
- 🌍 If you live in North Carolina, the strict school calendar laws may change- keep an eye out, this battle has been simmering in the state for a long time. Right now the law says schools must be out for the summer by June 11 and back in session no earlier than August 26. It was put in place by the tourism industry for economic reasons.
- 🎥 And... I published a vlog reflecting on the first summer after I left teaching. It documents my period of reflection this past summer as I adjusted to changing careers.