In the days when I went to elementary school (in the horse and buggy era) there were very few reasons that I remember of for being afraid for my bodily health. There was the occasional spat with someone that may result in a little shoving match, or the fall on the playground that may rip the knee out of our pants. The most fearful thing that I remember were the air raid drills when we would cower under our desks in case there would be a nuclear attack (I'm not sure what that would have done to save us). We lived very secure lives. We were guaranteed health and safety, especially while at school.
How things have changed in the world in which we live. This morning, as school was convening at a local school district (just three districts over from ours), a sophomore boy from the Franklin Regional School District went on a spree plunging two knives into classmates and students and at least one adult. Twenty were injured with serious injuries (thank God no lives were lost). All required hospitalization and a number required surgeries. The motive has not yet been determined. Franklin Regional is a suburban school district with a good reputation, a close knit and prosperous community, and no history of violence. The fear that students, parents, staff and community felt this morning and continues to feel at this moment is something that I am blessed to have not experienced in my youth. I ask your prayers for all of those involved. Our local parish in Murrysville, Mother of Sorrows, is holding a prayer vigil tonight at 7:00 pm in the Church to pray for the community. Keep these kids in your thoughts and prayers.