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December 19, 2012

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Sarah

It's been so hard for me to digest, too. Like you, I've just been avoiding any remarks or stories on it because I don't have the courage to think about it for too long. What are we as parents if we can't protect our own children from such evil? For Gui and me, this horrific tragedy has solidified our plans to school Avienne in France for the same reasons you talk about here - there's no promise that it won't happen there and it doesn't guarantee that our baby will be safe, but it gives us some piece of mind, however backwards it is to think of.

Alison

It's weird: I feel a certain detachment from this horrific event, even though I now live in the States. But my kids live in France, and I'm just not worried for their safety (well, I *am* but you know what I mean). I have shed tears for the lost children, but I didn't have to send my kids to school yesterday and wonder if they'd be safe.

Back when Columbine happened, I was teaching at the university in my French city. And I was so upset. I reassured my students that the US wasn't like that, the Americans weren't like that. But it keeps happening. Maybe we *are" like that. It's distressing, and awful, and wrong. It's just wrong that 20 children just died because this country feels like "freedom" is more important than lives. We need to have to courage to stand up and say ENOUGH. That's enough murder.

I don't know what else to say.

Lisa, a.k.a. The Bold Soul

My sister teaches first grade in NJ. I thought about her a lot since this happened at Sandy Hook because it could have been HER, her kids, her classroom. She has a student this year, a sweet little girl from Syria whose family refugeed out but still have family members there, where they don't even know what has happened to them. And this girl's mother has a restraining order out against her husband for domestic abuse. My sister has to worry about what happens if this guy decides to come to the school and cause trouble. And it's not the first time she's had a student's potentially violent parent to worry about. So I'm often worried about her well-being. I mean, her grown son is in the Army and about to deploy to Afghanistan, HE is supposed to be the one putting himself in harm's way, not my sister the teacher!

And I hate to say this but this sort of thing HAS happened in France, although not on this scale. Just this past year there was a shooting at a school entrance in Toulouse, in that case it was a racially motivated attack at a Jewish school. It is just such a crazy, violent world, and all parents want to do is raise their kids in peace and love. I guess all we can do is do that in our homes and do the best we can to protect them and to teach them how to be aware of what is going on around them. I am definitely in favor of banning assault weapons and even hand guns for private citizens, although I know this is not necessarily a popular stance and it's true that more has to be done in terms of mental health care. But you know what else? I believe that we get what we focus our energy on -- and if all of us continue to live in fear and act from fear and try to barricade ourselves in a bubble out of fear or we go out and buy guns out of fear, then what do we get? A crazy, gun-filled, violent world. I think since 9/11 the fear level in America has increased 1000-fold, and we're now seeing the result of that in this obsession with owning guns.

And you know what? Max is one awesome kid. :)

kim

Not to burst anyone's bubble, but there was the four people killed at a jewish school earlier this year in France. And there was an armed killer in a day care in Belgium a few years back.

It may be less frequent, but let's not give ourselves false senses of absolute security.

Aimee

I guess I was wrong thinking that this sort of thing never happens in France. Bubble has been burst.

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