United States

Hi! Hope your day is good and thank you for reading my writing- Rie

Message to Readers

*** This is an updated version!
In English class, I'm writing a research paper on the change in the conversation about gun violence and school shootings. As I went to write my paper, I wrote this.
I wrote this as someone who hasn't yet had the door open and it not be a drill. For me, it's always a drill but I know that if something isn't done, one day it won't be anymore.
I urge you to read this and remember that we are children and we need to be protected. However that comes about, we need protection from this reality.
Thank you for reading
(Note: Please do not put your opinions in the comments. I tried to simply include what people believe and not my own opinions either."

this is us

May 2, 2019

PROMPT: Open Prompt

    You wake up for school on a regular Tuesday morning. You reach for your phone to send streaks and check Instagram. You scroll through photos of your friends, pictures of where your family members are on their vacation, and you see post after post of happy faces and beautiful places. You don’t expect to see a post asking followers to pray for a city.
At seeing the strange post, you click to view the comments. Most of them are the praying emoji followed by a crying face. Some are angry comments about stupid kids with access to guns. A few are people offering condolences and prayers but this is 2019. Many of the comments are people demanding action and cursing powerful figures, blaming the lack of gun control or laws in America for a child bringing a gun to school and shooting mass numbers of their classmates.
Upon reading the trending articles on Google, you discover that numerous lives were lost in this recent shooting. You hope that this incident happened far away from you but there’s no guarantee. You read the reports describing what the shooter did, what weapon they used, how many people were injured or killed. You read that all these are developing stories. You feel sympathetic so you put a message on your Story. Maybe you declare that you’re praying for the victims and their families, maybe you’re saying that this is ridiculous and blame the shooter’s mental health or parents who own guns for their choice but even while you post this, you know that it’s no longer enough. You get up and get ready for the day, quickly forgetting the incident.
    You go to school the rest of the week. The flag outside stays half mast until next Tuesday. You sit through homeroom quietly but by first period, you get back to what you always do, yet you jump when a door is slammed down the hall. You're not thinking about the latest incident but as you talk with your friends, you stare down the hall at a kid digging through his backpack. You warily watch him pull things out until he finds the black water bottle he was looking for. You sigh then get back into the conversation but you still watch him stroll past you out of the building. As you walk to your bus, you read the updates on the shooter. He's been killed and it's nothing to you.
    Later that month you have a lockdown drill. Your class of 22 students cram into a space that’s supposed to be out of view from the small window in your classroom’s door. Your teacher tapes some paper over the window and locks the door. They pull the blinds and join you in the corner. Your classmates are quiet for a minute or two but they give up, knowing this isn’t real. They never take drills seriously. Lately you always sit in silence, waiting until the door is opened by a police officer who tells you that this has been a drill. You sit for an hour until the door opens. The door always opens. It’s always a drill.
    You go to school the whole year. Sometimes you wake up to pictures of your friends. Every so often you see more posts like that one of Tuesday. You worry but it’s never your state, your town, or your school. It’s always a drill. Until it isn’t.
    You go to school the last week before break. You sit through each class, listening to each lesson. You have a test in Global. You read a document about people dying in whatever war you’re learning about this week. It means nothing to you. Until it does.
    It means something when you hear a scream from the classroom behind you. It means something when you hear a loud bang. It means something when a voice exclaims that you’re in lockdown.
    You worry when you hear more shouts and and even more bangs. You worry when you hear something hit the wall that you’re huddled against. You worry when you sit for an hour and the door doesn’t open. You worry when the door finally does open.
    You scream when you are walked out of the classroom. You scream when you see the shattered glass from the neighboring classroom’s window on the ground. You scream when you see a girl lying with her face pressed against the wall that you sat on the other side of seconds before. You scream when someone tells you to look away. You scream when you see officers down the hallway holding guns.
    You shout when you get outside. You shout when you don’t see your friends. You shout when you don’t see another class full of people exit the building. You shout when ambulances rush up, coming in and out. You shout when your parents arrive to take you home. You shout because the door opened and it wasn’t a drill.
    You cry when school is cancelled the next few days. You cry when your friends don’t answer your texts. You cry when your parents say 21 kids died. You cry when they say the shooter was a 17 year old student at your school. You cry when they say the he is dead, shot by an officer. You cry when you open Instagram in the morning and see the name’s of people you know. You cry when you read the comments full of people praying for the victims who weren’t victims before yesterday. You cry when you post on your Story. You cry when you go to school a week later. You cry when it’s just you sitting in the back of the auditorium at the student’s wake. You cry because it’s your school, your city, and your state. You cry until you can’t. Then you take action.
    You don’t need prayers or gun control or your followers opinion. You want conversation and you’re going to start it. Gun violence is real and it will be until we talk about it. You know it and so do us all. We see it but we say nothing. We pray but do nothing. Not until it’s us. Never until it’s us.


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  • May 2, 2019 - 10:51am (Now Viewing)

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1 Comment
  • r_m_s_writes

    Thank you Paula2431 for your comment on the previous version of this published! I'm glad that this made you feel something and thanks for commenting :)

    about 1 year ago