Hillary Chybinski: school shootings are a tradgedy for everyone. . .

Thursday, January 20, 2011

school shootings are a tradgedy for everyone. . .

December 12, 2006

i got a txt that there was a shooting at the high school in our district from John. . .that's all I knew. . .

i immediately contacted my close friends with kids in the high school - the alleged location of the shooting.

we live close to the school - I could see and hear the helicopters hovering. . .I was home with my not-quite 2 month old baby. . .my oldest was in his 4th month of kindergarten. . .i have contacts to the media - I begged them for information - there wasn't much.

this was before Twitter.

i stood in my living room, listening to hovering helicopters 2 miles away, not knowing anything. . .

one of my friends that I called right away was able to get to the high school and get her girls and bring them home before everything got locked down and no one could leave.  she said there was mayhem and hysteria.  her girls were crying, scared and shaken up.

a boy killed himself - in the hallway of a small suburban high school.  Luckily no one else was physically hurt.

finally, an email with sketchy details arrived.  "Everyone was okay"

well as ok as anyone can be after their illusions of safety are shattered.

before that day we didn't have lockdown drills or procedures, we didn't have phone and email systems to notify parents ASAP if something should happen and provide instructions.  But immediately after that day we did.  We do.  They are practiced and discussed.

but that day changed me in some ways forever. . .that poor boy - his poor family - the heartbreak. . .thinking about it is devastating.  just writing this brings tears to my eyes because it is STILL happening - in school districts all over our country.  We kid ourselves that our kids go to a "good school", with "good people".  By all accounts and purposes Shane Halligan was a "good person" from a "good family" in a "good school district". . .

everytime I hear a story - as I did yesterday. . .it comes back to me - the fear.  the gratitude that we are so very lucky and that each and everyday is truly a gift from God.

thinking of all of you out there dealing with this situation - sending you all hugs and prayers for healing.

catch you soon -


  1. I appreciate it very much, at least I know from it someone is reading the contents I have here.

  2. We had a suicide death in the family and it's such an utter shock, one that I wouldn't have understood before. What a tragedy for the family and for the students whose innocence was lost that day. Beautifully written post.

  3. Thanks Jessica - I am so sorry for your loss. . .it must just be terrible - my heart goes out to your family.