My Little Picasso's

My Little Picasso's

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


What were you doing this morning at 7:13am?  Perhaps you were still asleep, drinking a coffee, watching the news.  I was in my classroom making a crossword puzzle of French food words for my Honors 2 class.

At approximately 7:13 am this morning a young 16 year old boy wielding 2 knives of 8-10 inches in length went on a rampage through the halls of the science wing of my alma mater.  My high school.  My hometown: Murrysville, Pennsylvania.

My hometown is a rural suburban community outside of Pittsburgh.  Route 22 goes through my hometown.  Everyone knows about everyone.  Blink and you miss us.  The local dentist and orthodontist lived in my neighborhood growing up.  They were running partners.  The dentist's daughters babysat me.  My high school football team qualified to play at Three River's Stadium my senior year.  I was confirmed, baptized, and married in the local Presbyterian church.  In 1996, I graduated from Franklin Regional Senior High School with Honors.  I babysat my French teacher's son.  She lived up the street.  My mum worked at the local pharmacy, my dad for Alcoa.  A friend and I used to go play on the elementary playground late at night over the weekends.  My sister and I lifeguarded at the school a few nights a week.  We gained lifelong friends there.  Some friends are now raising their families in Murrysville, Pennsylvania.  Murrysville, Pennsylvania IS a safe town, has a safe high school.

That high school where this young 16 year old boy decided to blaze through the hallways slashing and stabbing in no particular fashion.

We don't know why this happened.  More evidence will be seized and evaluated while 19 students and 1 adult try to recover from their injuries, some life-threatening.  The wound of the trauma and terror that this entire community and school will now and forever bare might never close.

What is happening with our young people today?  Is it social media?  Is it texting and smart phones?  Is it bullying?  Is it too much pressure to succeed or the fear of not succeeding?  This young boy was said to be a good likable kid.  No one ever expected this.  No one.  Not even the vice principal who lives on his same street.  The same principal who left from the same neighborhood having no clue he would soon be subduing his neighbor to the ground.

As I sat in my classroom through the day in a haze, I wasn't just thinking about my alma mater.  I was thinking about the alma mater of my students.  Of where I teach.  Every teacher felt that burden today.  I looked at my beautiful young students imagining how they would react, how they would feel.  Who would never come back after such an event?  Who would help?  I hope I never have to find out.

We send our children, our babies to school with the naive thought that they are safe.  That they are fine.  What happened today just proves that they are not.

This is just a bit "too real" for me right now.

We are FR.

April 9th, 2014

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