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From Dr. Latayne C. Scott

On the anniversary of Columbine, I remember the mother of one of my middle-school students telling her that he knew that Dr. Scott really cared about him.

It was the day after we had active-shooter staff training, and we were doing drills to show students how to hide, run, fight.

Of course these were middle school kids and there was a considerable amount of awkwardness for some formerly-homeschooled and new students. I showed them how to crouch against a wall where they couldn’t be seen from the classroom door’s window. We discussed what could be used as a weapon or projectile, like folding chairs and heavy books. We explored escape routes.

Not everyone was taking it seriously. I gathered them and got their attention.

I looked into each one’s eyes as I spoke.

“I will defend you even at the cost of my life. I will do whatever it takes to keep you safe. I will fight for you. I will die for you. I will come between you and whoever wants to hurt you.

I. Will.  Kill. Them. if they try to hurt you.

“And then I will go home that night and eat tacos and enchiladas and sleep like a baby.

“But you must do this:  When I tell you to do something in a dangerous situation, you must not make a sound. You must not question. You must do exactly what I tell you.”

They looked at me soberly.  They knew I meant business. They responded with pure business.

Only later did I reflect on the fact that this dreadful April anniversary of the Columbine shootings coincides with another annual season, one of the desperation of the entire world, when everything, life and death and eternity, was at stake 2000 years ago.

He didn’t hide. He didn’t run. He didn’t fight.

This Stranger in our world told you and me:

“I will fight for you. I will do whatever it takes.

“I will die for you. But you must do exactly what I say.”

And like my students I nod. 

Yes. Yes, Jesus, I can do that.