Oh, the dialogue of a public high school. There is nothing quite like it; from the shouts in hallways, to whispers in girls’ bathrooms, to answers in class, and even teachers’ exasperations. I hear it all, and so do you. The only difference is I write it down and give them my take on things. I’m Lily Davison, and this is “Over Heard.”
Dear Fellow Terrified Student,
Don’t worry, I’m really scared too. We’ve all felt a little sick to our stomachs, trying desperately not to think about it, but at the same time catching ourselves incessantly looking around the classroom for emergency exits in the event we might need to run for our lives. So know that I hear you and sympathize with you that school shootings are an awful day-to-day thought to have.
Sitting amongst you and our other classmates during the last class of the day on what would be known in my memory as “ALICE day”, I was already emotionally drained from hearing the same speech over and over again. I hated that I was scanning the room for heavy pieces of furniture to barricade the doors with. I hated that my classmates were asking what the chances of them breaking their legs were if they jumped out of a third-floor window. I hated that I had to watch teachers’ solemn expressions form as they explained that they would protect us no matter what. I hated it, every second of that wretched day.
So to sit there with my fists in my lap, nails digging deep into my palms to keep myself from tearing up, and staring blankly at my sneakers, and to hear your shaking voice speak up and ask your pleading answer, know that it hit me like a bus.
“What do I do about my sister? If I run, how will I know she is okay?”
You created a silence that hung in the air so thick that I felt like I couldn’t move without it crashing into me. I hadn’t even thought of that; my sister has long since graduated from Dulaney, but there are plenty of kids here with brothers and sisters. I know that if my sister still went here, we would both be searching for each other first. But, that’s not what we are supposed to do.
Get safe. Then think.
I desperately wanted to give you an answer to your question or tell you that you never have to worry about finding your sister when a shooting happens. But, I couldn’t. No one can. And to be honest, you shouldn’t have to be asking these questions. But, you do. And for that, I’m so sorry.
Sincerely, Lily Davison
Lily Davison |’19