The recording stated, “You are concerned about your children. In order for us to effectively address concerns on campus, we are asking for you to trust our communication. The police officers are not permitting anyone to enter campus until the lock down has been released.”
As a middle school teacher, I am well aware of what a school lock down means. There are so many scenarios that played out in my mind at the time I listened to that voice message. My 17 year old son is on that campus in that lockdown and I have no idea what the actual situation is at the time. My nervous system activated and I began to pray that it is nothing as serious as it actually was.
I called my son on his cell phone (thank God for these devices that we have come to depend upon). He answered in a soft tone, “Hi mom…I’m okay”.
The next thing he informed me is that another student had shot himself on the campus and he is dead. I was emotionally overwrought at that point. Yes, my son is safe, but someone elses son is not. That was my initial thought which brought me to tears.
Since Tuesday, there have been many Facebook posts, tweets, and videos about the 18 year old who simply made a choice to end a life that seemingly was unbearable for him. I do not pretend to know anything about that or his experiences. I am only able to feel sadness for him and his family at this time.
Of course, I spoke with my son at length about it when I arrived home. I reassured and comforted him as much as I could that I am always interested in knowing how he is feeling. There is no problem so great that we can not solve it together. I silently hugged my son for a long time. The thought of losing him is not something I am able to process. Yet, there are these parents somewhere out there grieving their loss. I wish I could do something to help.
To the parents of Marcus Wheeler – I am keeping you on my prayer list for a long time. I’m praying for your peace and may you discover the purpose God has in you.