I'm a teacher who survived the Parkland shooting. Here's my message to Uvalde, Texas.
People gather at Robb Elementary School, site of a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas Nuri Vallbona/Reuters
Kimberly Krawczyk survived the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Still a teacher today, she says people should forget their political sides and focus on preventing senseless deaths.
She says to Uvalde: “You will hate God. you will thank god
I was a teacher in building 1200 on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School campus in Parkland, Fla. on February 14, 2018 — the day a former student brought a gun onto campus, killing 17 people and injuring 17 others.
I teach math and was working in the freshman building at the time of the shooting, but I didn't open my door. The shooter didn't notice my classroom; I think he was so in love with the mess he had made that he didn't realize we were there. We were very lucky.
I remember someone once telling me it was only 10 minutes of gunshots - but it's so much more than that. I walked over corpses with 25 14 year olds.
When I heard about the Texas shooting, calls came in from my family
Then calls from friends. Then colleagues ask if I'm okay.
And I'm not. i walk with my dog I stare at the sky. I hate God; I thank god. I practice my breathing.
The numbers on the newsfeed I was following weren't originally accurate, but as a survivor I've learned to wait and watch. As the numbers went up, my heart sank.
I've seen the pictures of the teachers who certainly did everything they could to save their students - their children, because teachers see their students as family - and I'm devastated. I spent the night answering calls and texts between fits of sobs of sadness and anger. How could that happen? Don't we keep saying never again?
Kimberly Krawczyk with her service dog.Kimberly Krawczyk
I think we're starting to break away from the violence
It's so easy to say we're so sorry and ask each other if we saw the news today. But that can't be what it becomes - there are real people involved and they're just babies. Days ago they played with barbies and drew Mother's Day cards. They are people, not numbers.
Why on earth do we keep choosing sides? Which side is on the other side when it comes to stopping senseless murders? We are all wrong - and I mean that emphatically. We have to admit it and start working together. Gun laws are wrong, school policies are wrong, school security is wrong, mental health services are wrong, school funding is wrong, voter turnout is wrong. We can do better; we have to do better. We as a society don't do our job.
I would first like to tell the municipality of Uvalde what others have told us
You are loved, you are important, you are needed. Come together - community matters.
And let me also tell you what nobody told us: you are strong, but you don't have to be. You can ask for help and demand that it is quality. You know your experience and that of your child. Don't let anyone set you on fire.
Others will invite you to a park - go. The family will try to help - let them. Someone buys you a latte - nod and smile. Love comes in many forms.
In the coming days you will be working on your funeral schedules. They have to fill out victim reports and organize fundraisers. You will struggle to get out of bed and forget what day it is. You will walk your dog. you will hate God; you will thank god You will find the fire to advance.
The story goes on
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