Finding Words in the Wake of the Sandy Hook Massacre
“Today, an unimaginable event occurred at an elementary school in Connecticut,” Susan Ballard emailed the afternoon of December 14 to the aaslforum (American Association of School Librarians) discussion list. She was writing, of course, about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, which resulted in the violent deaths of 28 people, 20 of them children younger than 8.
Speaking as AASL president, Ballard expressed “concern for our colleagues in Newtown and Connecticut, and I want the members of the Connecticut Association of School Librarians to know that we are here for them, and standing by to provide them with our support and assistance.” She continued:
Hundreds of thousands of other schoolchildren, their teachers, and their parents are also impacted by this tragedy and will look to school librarians for our expertise in finding resources and materials that will help them to try and make some sense of this senseless act. Our school libraries are often sanctuaries for kids and no doubt over the next few weeks, many of them will be seeking solace, comfort, and caring, which we can help to provide.
There is a saying that “In every child’s life there is one great teacher. Let it be you.” On Monday morning, when students and teachers return to your schools, let it be you who reaches out with kindness, compassion, and understanding so they have no doubt that we are there for them. Think about what you can do, share your ideas, and let’s unite to make a difference.