She told twenty-one 2nd graders to be very quiet while she locked the door and pulled the curtain over their window.
She sat huddled in the corner of her classroom and told all of her kids to close their eyes while she prayed.
She grabbed the baseball bat beside the door that Jonathan had brought for show and tell. Hell was coming with her if someone stepped into their room.
She could hear the shouting outside the door but no one made a sound.
They said they were the police but she didn’t believe them until the officer opened the door.
They told her to cover the children’s eyes with the bandanas they had brought in and that everyone should hold on to the rope and not let go. She kept them all from crying.
She walked her class slowly through the halls wishing she could have shielded her own eyes from the scene.
Sirens. Flashing lights. Terrified children all looking at her.
“It’s going to be alright,” she said. Trying to believe it herself.
Parents running, crying, screaming, weeping.
“You saved them.” “How could we ever repay you?”
When she graduated from college, she never wanted to fight off the bad guys. When she got her masters, she never wanted to hold weeping parents in her arms. After 27 years in the classroom and having to work a side job, she never wanted to have to keep twenty-one 2nd graders quiet while guns were being unloaded in the next room.
And the world questions what teachers get paid? The world makes jokes about teachers having summers off? The world finds it hilarious to say, “She couldn’t do anything else, so she teaches?”
Well, tonight, twenty-one 2nd-grade children and parents know what a teacher is worth…