Teachers across U.S. say they're 'paralyzed' by fear after Texas school shooting

·5-min read

Teachers are sharing their anxiety, sadness and concern after 19 students and two teachers died in the school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Wednesday.

"It’s a rough time to be a teacher," one person wrote on Twitter. "If it isn’t the entire system collapsing, it’s a school shooting."

Teachers across the country are responding to Uvalde school shooting. (Photo: Getty Images)
Teachers across the country are responding to Uvalde school shooting. (Photo: Getty Images)

Educators across the country have taken to their social media feeds to express the reality of being a teacher during a decade bookmarked by two of the deadliest school shootings in history, including the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012. And, as solutions for gun regulation or more protection in schools have yet to surface, the fear among teachers who feel unsafe in their workplaces is increasing.

While some wrote about their reluctance to show up to their own classrooms the day after tragedy struck at an elementary school in Texas, others shared blessings and motivation to fellow educators, acknowledging that the day would be difficult. One teacher even shared that she had thought of calling out sick but knew that the 25 fourth graders counting on her to teach couldn't do the same.

"7 more school days and then I quit. I'm out," she wrote. "Not worth my life."

Tuesday's shooting was a reminder of the real danger that teachers and students may face at school. However, many explained that they've done their best to prepare with active shooter drills in classrooms.

Even so, educators express that they could never be fully prepared to face such horrific tragedy doing a job they didn't expect to put their lives at risk.

"I do think they should be prepared for tragedy. But also teachers aren't firefighters," one teacher wrote within a thread of tweets. "They didn't sign up thinking there would be a risk they could die for their jobs, and their training programs don't equip them to evaluate & face that risk. Yet... here we are."

One teacher who volunteers for Moms Demand Action — the organization fighting for laws and public safety measures against gun violence born out of the Sandy Hook shooting — recalled her own experience going back to school the day after the tragedy in 2012. She even pled with parents to show their kids's teachers some kindness and grace.

"Going back into the classroom after [Sandy Hook] was one of the hardest days of my career. Your kids' teachers are struggling," she wrote. "Please understand that they are simultaneously worried about their students' & their own lives."

She added the stark reminder, "This could've been any school in America."

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