2022 – I am a teacher who survived the shooting in Parkland. Here’s my letter to Ovaldi, Texas.

People gather at Robb Elementary School, the site of a mass shooting in Ovaldi, Texas.

  • Kimberly Krausek survived the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
  • Still a teacher today, she says, is that people should forget their political sides and focus on preventing foolish deaths.
  • She tells Ovaldi: “You will hate God. You will thank God.

I was a teacher in Building 1200 on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018—the day a former student brought a handgun onto campus, killing 17 people and wounding 17.

I teach math and was working in the freshman building at the time of the shooting, but I didn’t answer my door. The shooter did not notice my class. I think he was so fond of the mess he made that he didn’t realize we were there. We were very lucky.

I remember someone once told me the shooting was only 10 minutes – but it’s so much more, I walked over corpses with 25 14-year-olds.

When I heard about the shooting in Texas, I got calls from my family

Then calls from friends. Then colleagues ask if you’re okay.

And I’m not. I walk with my dog ​​I’m staring at the sky. I hate God. Thanks God. I practice my breathing.

The numbers in the newsfeed I was following weren’t originally accurate, but as a survivor I learned to wait and watch. As the numbers rose, my heart sank.

I’ve seen pictures of teachers who definitely did everything they could to save their students—their children, because teachers see their students as family—and I’m disappointed. I spent the night answering calls and messages between fits of sadness and anger. How could that happen? Don’t keep saying It will never happen again?

Kimberly Krause with her service dog.

I think we’re starting to move away from violence

It’s so easy to say we’re so sorry and ask each other if we saw the news today. But it can’t be the same – there are real people involved who are just kids. Days ago they played with Barbie and drew Mother’s Day cards. They are human beings, not numbers.

Why on earth do we continue to choose sides? Which side is on the other side when it comes to stopping foolish murders? We’re all wrong – and I mean that categorically. We have to acknowledge that and start working together. Gun laws are wrong, school policies are wrong, school security is wrong, mental health services are wrong, school funding is wrong, and voter turnout is wrong. We can do better. We have to do better. We as a society are not doing our jobs.

I would first like to tell the municipality of Ovalde what others have told us

You are loved, you are important, you are needed. Together – community matters.

And let me also tell you what no one has told us: You are strong, but you don’t have to be. You can ask for help and claim the quality. You know your experience and that of your child. Don’t let anyone burn you.

Others will invite you to a garden – go. The family will try to help – let them. Someone is buying you a latte – a nod and a smile. Love comes in many forms.

In the coming days you will work on your funeral schedules. They have to fill out victim reports and organize fundraising. You will struggle to get out of bed and forget what day it is. You will walk your dog. You hate God. You will thank God and you will find fire to advance.

After Parkland, I had several meetings with reporters, families and law enforcement officials

It’s always the same: what could we have done? I keep talking because I hope one day I can connect with someone who can is being Change.

People are calling and trying their best to check on me – which I really appreciate and makes a lot of sense. But it is very difficult to understand what you have been through if you have not gone through it yourself.

I’m still studying, but now I’m studying in a different school. I have a service dog that helps. And talking to the kids really helps. We are room 1257; We kept in touch. I even have an open heart tattooed with 1257 because 1257 is in my heart forever.

We are a family connected to something terrible. We have a group chat and message each other on every anniversary, birthday and holiday and send them little gifts. I’m even going to lunch with one of them this weekend.

I always tell them: You are a support system for each other to get through this.

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