To the editor:

As I write, teachers and students are thinking about back-to-school supplies, first-day outfits, standardized tests — and mass shootings.

We teachers set up, spruce up, laminate, disinfect ... and get recertified for whichever lockdown program our school system goes by.

In fact, at a math conference, it is just as common to ask, “Do you guys use Envision or Imagine Math?” as it is to ask, “Does your district use ALICE, shelter in place, or CRASE?”

Finishing my one-hour online course, I go to print out the certificate.

In the two seconds that I listen for my printer to start thumping, a news bubble pops up: a mass shooting.

At school, the topic of mass shootings is the norm. At home, the TV does not even stop its sitcom for the footer, reading of a lone gunman in “a random, isolated incident.” It is anything but “a random, isolated incident.” Rather, it’s a “preventable, widespread routine.”

It occurs to me that tying the door handle and crowding your middle schoolers into a closet is not normal.

That explaining to your crouching kindergartners that we can play “the quiet game” only in the bathroom because it has no windows.

The news says it’s important to look at the shooter’s history and mental health.

No. It was important to do these — before he bought a gun. It’s time to make commonsense background checks — and not mass shootings — the routine.

Nicole Rodriguez


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