It’s easy to hide a school shooting from your child until it happens just a few miles from home.
Flags at half-mast. Protests downtown. A spray-painted #1 on our son’s little league field in remembrance of one of the 9-year-old victims. An extra armed guard here. An increased police presence there. Black-and-red ribbons tied to mailboxes in honor of the school colors.
They might not fully understand, but they feel it. The situation is jarring and scary. When a mass shooting occurs on the other side of the country, you turn off the news and your kids don’t know any better.
But this is our backyard. The entire community is affected. Six families will never be the same. We have an obligation to create a safe space for children to ask questions, but the worst we can do is pretend that it didn’t happen.