A slightly different blog from me today.
It was a normal morning in Year 3 and 4. We’d done registration, had got the first lesson under our belt and were gearing up for assembly and then playtime. When the head teacher came in and whispered the message in my ear, I was not prepared for what she had to say.
Reports were coming through of a shooting incident in a Scottish primary school. It was serious. The unbelievable had happened; a man bearing several weapons had walked into a school gym and had shot dead a teacher and most of the class. Many others were injured.
Nothing in primary education was ever the same after Dunblane. The purpose-built school I was teaching in at the time was long and narrow, to fit into the landscape. It had doors at either end, doors from the playground into each classroom and doors into the hall on the lower floor. If someone wanted to attack us, it would be easy. We lived in a semi-rural community far from an inner city. Crime was low but, as we bordered farmland, guns were commonplace. The discussions about security were depressing and endless. How could we maintain a friendly, accessible environment but protect the lives of those inside the school? As teachers, we never once took security casually ever again.
When the details hit the news on the following day, with photographs printed in the papers, teachers were in tears in the staff room. We’d all posed for class pictures with our pupils like the one shown. It hit every one of us hard. How much harder must it have affected the school community and town of Dunblane?
It’s twenty-five years since the shootings happened and I’m not blessed with the best memory, but I can remember that day as clearly as yesterday.
Rest in peace Dunblane innocents.