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If someone comes in our classroom with a gun, we're supposed to throw our school supplies at the shooter.
Is it a hard thing to think about?
Yeah, like really, really hard.
'Cause I know that it's possible, you know?
- Hi. - Hi.
I'm Niray, nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you I'm Tyrone.
Tyrone, how old are you?
- I'm 14. - 14.
Do you know what we are here to talk about today or--
About you.
That's correct.
It's about experience that I had when I was in college, when I was 19 years old.
Do you know kind of what happened, or--
I believe you were in a school shooting.
Yes.
But that's kind of the extent of what I know.
Do you kind of know what we're here to talk about today or the topic?
School shooting?
Yes, you're like okay, I hope it's not the one.
Is it okay to laugh about that?
I feel like I'm making a joke out of it but it's 'cause it scares me.
You're totally allowed to laugh about it.
I often have to make jokes about it and a little bit, make it lighter just because it's a hard thing to talk about.
Have you guys ever heard of the Virginia Tech shooting?
It wasn't the first, it was pretty early on before--
Correct, it was in 2007.
I was in a French class, so, you know, normally typical kind of cold day and without any warning, a student locked us inside the building, like he chained the door shut on purpose and he killed 30 people.
I just wanted to know what your immediate thoughts were when you first heard shots?
I didn't really realize they were gunshots initially because it felt like it was behind me and then it started to escalate and it got closer, and closer, and closer.
And I was just thinking, what is going on?
You know, no one said there's a shooting, those words were never, no one called a lockdown and things like that.
He quickly burst into the room and I was in shock.
I didn't know what was going on.
My teacher and another student, they tried to push their desk against the door to keep him out but unfortunate they weren't strong enough and so he burst through and he shot them first.
At this point I got under a desk.
He shot every single person but one in my classroom so I was almost thinking, okay your turn is coming, take it, hold on.
And that's when he shot me in the back, so.
I was shot in the back the first time and then in my butt.
Getting shot, what did that feel like?
It felt like a hot pinch.
It was not like a movie re-enactment where everyone is screaming and arms flailing, it's not like that.
It just feels like heat.
It's very hot, that's the best way I would describe it.
And then after awhile because I was losing so much blood, I started to feel very cold, like I was just drenched in water.
And then, I start to fall asleep and kind of lose consciousness, so.
So yeah, so it sucks, it hurts, it hurts a lot.
How long did it take you to get in touch with your parents after you were shot?
I did not see my parents until I woke up in the hospital.
And my surgeon called my parents and told my mom that I was shot and that I had to have surgery and they were like, we can't wait for you.
So, I woke up at around 4 p.m. that afternoon and they were in the hospital.
That's the biggest guilt that I have in the shooting, is that I did not call my parents.
So I always pick up the phone when my parents call.
I'm really quick to respond to them because I just feel, I feel really bad about those four hours that they had to drive down.
Has your school talked about mass shootings or lockdown drills and things like that?
We have a little a bit, we've done some lockdowns for if there was ever a shooter in the area or something.
Do you know what you might do if you were in that similar situation?
I think that I would kind of try to hide.
That's a pretty fair, fair point.
The awkward thing is that a lot of training would teach you to lockdown, but if you can also get out of the space, you should.
So are you saying she shouldn't listen to her teacher?
Kind of, but that's also kind of like a really harsh thing.
I'm not saying don't listen to your teacher but...
If you have a really good sense and a really good gut-feeling that something dangerous is happening, do what you think is best.
And that might be disobeying the teacher.
But you may be safer outside of that space.
At my school they have us all group up in a closet or something, and that always felt weird to me.
I asked my teacher, "Why are we all going right here, we were like, if someone just opened the door we would all be here?"
And they were kind of like, well I don't know, I can't really do anything about it.
I feel like in my school we're kind of in a little bubble.
We're like, oh that's all happening in other places, but I think we just need to be more realistic about that because it could happen here.
Have you ever heard an adult say something like, it's never going to happen here?
Yes.
Do you believe that?
No.
I hope it doesn't happen here, I'm not saying it will.
But I think when you say that, you subconsciously don't even open yourself up to being prepared and have those conversations.
Do you feel pretty safe at school usually?
Yeah, sometimes, yeah I'll say that, yeah.
What are your thoughts on arming teachers, giving them guns?
I'm not trying to say anything bad but there be some teachers that look a little sketchy and kind of scary and might just make the students in the classroom feel unsafe.
And it just might have the environment feel weird, you know?
I think it's a little beyond what a teacher has signed up for.
They're like, okay I want to spend time with kids and I wanna enlighten the next generation, right, but then they're given this extra job like you need to carry this thing that could kill someone.
I agree 100%.
Do you think your school does enough for preparedness and training?
If someone comes in our classroom with a gun we're supposed to throw anything within reach at them, in hopes to stop them.
I don't like that it's come to that where we have to try and save ourselves by throwing our school supplies at the shooter.
Is it a hard thing to think about?
Yeah, but like really, really hard.
'Cause I know that it's possible, you know?
Are there warning signs that you should look for, for a shooting?
Yeah, there's definitely some things to be aware of.
Sometimes people openly talk about wanting to do a school shooting.
That, you should definitely tell a teacher or a parent or whoever that you trust.
If you see someone, that they're impressed by it, that's enough to just check in on them and see if they're okay.
You can't say that, oh because you did this you're gonna do a school shooting but the whole point of it is to speak up and to share those concerns because all school shootings are preplanned.
And often we, as their friends or their parents or whoever else, can stop that planning.
What are some ways that you've dealt with your trauma after what happened?
I first found a really good counselor, so that was incredibly helpful.
And then I tried to take things lighter.
So people will, you know, freak out, oh, there's traffic, that sucks.
But at the end of the day, you're alive.
You got to sit in this traffic.
I know it sounds super corny but it's true.
The privilege to have annoyances is a real thing.
And sometimes my friends will remind me like, be grateful for traffic, and I'm like shut up.
But it's true, be grateful for it, because you never know what the next day brings.
Hi, I'm Kristina and thank you for watching Kids Meet a School Shooting Survivor.
To learn more about my experience and my foundation please check for a link below, buh-bye.
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Kids Meet a School Shooting Survivor | Kids Meet | HiHo Kids

3021 Folder Collection
Estelle published on August 14, 2019    Estelle translated    Evangeline reviewed
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