Where they’d want to be buried. How to console their grieving parents. What to tell politicians who offered only prayers in response to their untimely deaths.
This is what American children are tweeting about.
After yet another school massacre, their messages – carried by the hashtag “#IfIDieInASchoolShooting – offer a woeful glimpse into the sense of apparent inevitability that someday soon, they’ll all be felled by bullets on campus.
While their tweets almost certainly reflect the turmoil of trying to cope with the notion of a campus gunman, so many also seem to cry out for protection. And some convey considerable anger – at lawmakers, at the NRA, at a country that seems willing to consider near-weekly school shootings a frightening but acceptable new normal.
Here’s what this nation’s youth are saying:
Students are considering what they’d miss …
“i will never
- get married
- have children
- go to college
- buy a car
“I’ll never be able to see my sister again, and I will have to become a martyr,” wrote Andrew Schneidawind, who appears to have started the hashtag Sunday afternoon.
… and where they’d want to be buried.
“I want to be buried right next to my brother.”
They’re imagining their parents in mourning …
“My mom will lose (sic) another child and I won’t be able to help her heal”
… and leaving instructions for those left behind.
“Make sure you pet the cat behind his ears he likes it there. Only water the flowers once a day, make sure they get enough sunlight. Text my friends good morning/good night every day if they are still alive.”
And then there’s this.
“protect my little sister so she doesn’t die in one too”
They also share how they’d want to be remembered …
“remember me by what i’ve accomplished instead of what could’ve been.”
… and that they’re not blind to the politics of guns.
“#IfIDieInASchoolShooting politicize my death, send my body to the White House, turn my funeral into a protest and let everyone know that I was never able to graduate high school, attend college or continue living my life due to politicians refusing to pass stricter gun laws!”
Lauren Hogg, who survived February’s school shooting that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, wrote that if she died in a shooting, she’d want her face plastered “outside of every politician Who accepts money from the NRA’s office …
“so every day as they walk into work they have to look into the eyes of someone who died because of their inaction and think of their own children or someone they know.”
Teachers, too, have added their voices.
A teacher, charged with educating the youngest among us, wrote: “#IfIdieInASchoolShooting Then I died protecting these beautiful kindergartners because our govt. decided that guns were more important than their lives…..”
Another teacher tweeted that she thinks “about it every day. If I can carry enough of my special needs kids to safety or lock the door fast enough. If I die put my body on the steps of Congress. Let them have the blood on their hands.”