Giddings, 39, comes from a family of educators – along with school staff, students and their parents across the country – who have become reluctant participants in the nightmare of re-creation. American show.
It is the deadliest K-12 school shooting in the US since 2018 and the 32nd since August 1, according to a CNN tally.
“Sometimes it feels like we’re just bouncing around from crisis to crisis and we’re always in this state of anxiety,” says Giddings.
Teachers, school administrators, staff and students have been traumatized by rage that – according to the author of a new book on mass shootings – have become “regular events”. day in our lives.”
“For the younger generation, it’s even worse,” psychologist Jillian Peterson and sociologist James Densley wrote in “The Violent Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Pandemic .”
“Born in the first few years of the twenty-first century, the youngest Americans, high school students and younger, have never known a world without mass shootings,” according to the published book. in September.
“More than half of American teenagers are worried about a shooting at their school, and life-long active shooting drills, locker searches and locked school doors have given them death fears.” going to happen.”
The short-term and long-term psychological impact extends beyond those who survived the shooting and who remained grieving over those who died.
“What’s really overwhelming is how massive the impact of these types of shootings is – just the number of people affected,” Peterson told CNN. “And for some of them, it’s lifelong.”
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard echoed those sentiments at a news conference Saturday, when asked by reporters that the sheriff’s deputies who responded to Thursday’s shooting Three is like.
“I was at the scene when there were still dead kids there,” he said, “but the kids were there when it was happening, and they had to go through them, it was devastating.”
Bouchard said experts were flown in to help delegates respond to the bloodshed they had witnessed.
“They will never be the same,” Bouchard said. “I told them we needed them to heal themselves, their families and the community, but we also needed them back on the front lines.”
‘It’s hard to watch’
James and Jennifer Crumbley were criminally negligent and contributed to a dangerous situation that resulted in the deaths of four people, according to Oakland County Attorney Karen McDonald.
James Crumbley purchased the gun four days before it was used in the shooting, McDonald said. Ethan Crumbley was with him and later called the semi-automatic pistol “my new beauty” on social media. Jennifer Crumbley called the gun her son’s “new Christmas present” in her own social media post, according to McDonald’s.
Prosecutors said in court that surveillance video showed Crumbley with a backpack, then a minute later leaving the bathroom with a gun in hand. He started shooting as the students ran for cover.
Rage took the life of 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin; Tate Myre, 16 years old; Hana St. Juliana, 14 years old; and Justin Shilling, 17, according to officials.
“It’s like the same nightmare that plays out over and over in the same way,” says Peterson. “It’s hard to see.”
Shooting according to a familiar scenario
Tuesday’s horror was similar to previous tragedies.
Aiden Page, a senior, told CNN he heard two loud bangs. His teacher, who was in the hall, ran into the classroom. A bullet penetrated the desk that the 17-year-old and other students used to barricade the door. This isn’t a drill, you know.
“I said, OK, this is a shooter,” he said.
“We took the computer,” Page added. “We took the scissors … in case the shooter came in and we had to attack him.”
We turned off the lights and practiced throwing our makeshift weapons – chairs, sharpening pencils, staplers, textbooks, cardboard, canned goods…
Many young students cried. The older kids would text their parents a final goodbye, which in return would flood the principal and the police with frantic calls. Then when it’s over, it’ll revert back to your regular scheduled program, like nothing happened.
Page said some classmates cried. Others have tried lending support. They huddled behind their desks. A teacher who ran in from the hall as the shooting began called a student’s cell phone in her classroom, where a student was shot in the leg.
“The first thing on my mind was, ‘This is really happening,'” Page said. “I’ll text my family to say I love them in case I have to die.”
He added, “It’s definitely going to be weird to come back [to school] especially knowing that someone was injured and … a few students died. ”
‘How do they go back to school?’
Peterson and Densley wrote that “emotional responses to mass shootings are overshadowed by repetition. Daily tragedies become ambient noise until, ultimately, we become paralyzed. for the pain.”
For 17-year-old JaVon Pittman, trauma is still too new. He hid under his desk with classmates on Tuesday after they blocked the door with his desk and turned off the lights, he told CNN.
“Is this a dream?” he remembers thinking. “We all just asked like ‘Is this a drill?’ “
His younger brother, Jonte, was at school but managed to escape. JaVon sends him a text message: What’s up?
“It was a shooting, a real shooting,” his brother wrote back, according to JaVon.
JaVon then called his father, JaMar Pittman. He whispered on the phone what his brother had reported.
JaVon added: “Someone here bombarded the school.
“Calm down… I’m on my way there,” his father replied.
The locking of the door, of course, would prevent their reunion for a while.
Guilt took over.
“You try to be there for your kids,” says JaMar Pittman. “You can’t be there for your kids, and you feel anxious. And let you be their leader, their father, superhero, whatever. You can’t save your kids. That’s cruel.”
His wife, Vontysha Pittman, says she’s been trying to stay healthy.
“It’s just a horrible feeling to know that we as parents can’t do anything for them but pray,” she said last week, breaking down.
“I had to try to stay calm for them,” she said. She is grateful that her sons are at home. “There are some parents [where] That room will be empty. “
Javon also breaks down as he remembers his close friends Shilling and Myre, who were shot dead at the school. He said that they were like brothers.
McDonald, the district attorney, last week settled on a terror charge that caused the death of Ethan Crumbley – a rare allegation of a school shooting.
“Like every other kid in that building… we have to have an appropriate consequence that speaks to the victims who weren’t killed or injured,” she told CNN. “They’ve been affected. How do they go back to school?”
McDonald’s said many students were unable to eat or sleep.
“Their parents are sleeping next to them and we shouldn’t ignore that,” she added. “Obviously four children were murdered and many more injured but more than 1,000 were also victims.”
Another body blow in an already challenging year
Psychological trauma as well as guilt and loss can be long-lasting.
“There’s a lot of processing work and grief and mental health care that’s definitely needed for that school and community,” Peterson said.
“There are definitely kids with post-traumatic stress disorder. “It impacts everyone differently, depending on your past experiences and your own coping mechanisms and your own psyche.”
Peterson says most communities never fully recover from tragedies.
“We pretend we do… The public consciousness surrounding these events is getting shorter and shorter, I feel like that… If you don’t have kids in school or if you’re not a teacher members, a lot of people don’t realize how bad it has become and how much weight we are putting on our children to fight this battle for us.”
Giddings, a teacher in Washtenaw County, said her husband, Daniel, and her twin sister, Kelley, also teach. Distance learning coupled with the wars for masks and vaccination missions has taken a heavy toll on educators.
“We cannot predict a global pandemic, but we can predict what happens when a teenager brings a gun to school. We can and should do better,” her sister wrote on social media. festival.
In another post, Giddings’ twin wrote: “Sleepless night as I spin with thoughts of Oxford HS in my head. 20 minutes away. I know friends and family who work and live. being there like most of my students. As a teacher. in 2021 it’s ….. a mess. This is not okay.”
Giddings said the shooting caused “one of the hardest emotional and social blows” in an already difficult school year.
“Many teachers act as advocates and … allowing students to vent and do their best to make students feel safe,” says Giddings, a teacher with 15 years of experience.
“We have colleagues, friends who are working there,” she added, referring to Oxford High School. “And it’s hard not only to sleep, but hard to talk to my kids about it.”