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Living in Terror


Living in Terror

Alyssa Wetherbee

Growing up in an America where guns are seen as more of a priority than children's lives, I remember the first time a school shooting affected me. I was eleven years old, still in the first semester of 6th grade, when my mother informed me that twenty children had died in Newtown, Connecticut.


I call BS on this screwed up system in our schools that has our children practice what to do in the event of a school shooting.

This establishes and maintains a sense of fear that a shooting can happen at anytime.

This is cruel.

When I was in school in the 50’s and 60’s, we practiced fire drills and for a short time during the Cuban Missile Crisis, we filed out in the hallway and put our elbows up against the block walls and shielded our heads with our arms.

I cannot believe parents today allow their kids to be subjected to this horrible practice.

This is terror practiced on our most vulnerable.


Spoken like the sane and compassionate adult that you are on the way to becoming, Alyssa!

It shouldn’t have to be this way. Teenagers should not have to teach adults to be…well…adults, responsible mature adults.

These young people deserve our support, our encouragement and our attention. They are trying to teach us some things that we badly need to learn.

The fact is that our society just has too many guns, especially military-style guns.
This fact, combined with our serious predilection for violence, our extreme levels of
inequality, our racism, our xenophobia, our misogyny, our widespread religious fundamentalism and intolerance, our antipathy towards secularism and collectivism,
have combined to make this a very scary place to grow up in.

We have a problem, and we must admit it and face it. Nothing is “normal” about
this situation. Maybe, with our support, these young people will help us to find our
way out of this darkness and insanity.


Truer words have never been spoken.
The people promoting this fear in young people in order to push their political agenda are beneath contempt.


Alyssa and all the students are the change-makers and the light bearers. They speak truth so eloquently and with such heart. They must prevail and we must support them or get out of their way.