For friends who aren’t teachers or don’t know teachers or don’t realize how things work in these emergency situations.

The staff at Sandy Hook today, the teachers but anyone involved with the students, they are heroes, and they are heroes in a way that is part of their job and not expected but always planned for.

When you become part of a school you learn lockdown procedures.  When you’re with a class you learn what to do and when to do it.  To lock doors, turn off lights, close blinds and curtains, hide students.  What to tell a classroom of confused, terrified children in order to help them stay quiet, stay safe.  How long to wait, what to wait for, how to know it’s safe. 

What to say to the students afterward.

There are levels of threats.  There are different KINDS of threats.  They each have different procedures.

I’ve been through two lockdowns since I started working with kids — one a false alarm, and one a contained incident that never reached our halls.  But you are expected to be able to face these situations, for these kids.

So I want people to just…to think about that, to acknowledge that, to realize that these people are heroes because they went straight to lock the doors and whisked these kids to restrooms and closets and corners and led them out of the building as soon as they were told.  I want you to…to hug a teacher, if you know one, a principal, a school psychologist, a school secretary, a lunch lady, a hallway monitor, a security guard. Anyone.  And just.  Appreciate everyone, okay?  Just appreciate everybody.