It is really starting to become “old hat.” I am incredibly tired of seeing news notifications appear on the top of my Ipad informing me of another school shooting in this country. I will promise you now, this article will not turn political or discuss gun control, that is not my style. Since that issue is out of the way, you can safely read on.
Along with everyone in the United States and all over the world, my heart pours out to the victims each and every time something happens. I can never truly imagine the feelings and emotions to be in that situation, and I hope that I never have to. But just last week, it hit closer to home and became more of a reality.
I was working as a production assistant on a commercial/promo shoot at a Southwest Atlanta middle school. My crew and I were there to interview parents, teachers and current and former students about the school. The goal was to turn all of the information we gathered into a short video for the school to use on their website and promotional material. Our crew was divided into two teams, one serving as the interview station in the school auditorium and the other as a roving team shooting footage of the school and class rooms in action.
The day was going smooth as we were surprisingly on schedule and obtaining tons of great information for the video. Shortly after our lunch break, a school administrator came rushing into the room apologizing for interrupting the interview but needed to speak to the producer for a second. I overheard her say that there was a “situation currently occurring and not sure how this will affect your filming.” She went on to say that there was a school shooting down the street and everyone was on immediate lockdown.
A sense of fear, panic, and rage quickly entered my body after hearing that statement. Could this really be happening again and so close to where I was sitting? Are we safe? What should we do? Leave? Hide?
Luckily for us, we continued the business as usual with our interviews in the auditorium as the school around us was on lockdown. Quickly and quietly a few men came in to survey the situation but left without saying a word. After about an hour, the same school administrator popped her head into the room and gave us a thumb up, and whispered, “Everything is all good and clear.”
I later found out that there was a shooting just a few miles away at Price Middle School, south of downtown Atlanta. A 14-year old student suffered injuries after being shot in the head following an argument. From all the news reports I read, the situation was contained fairly quickly and the suspect was detained.
In reality, the crew was pretty safe at the school we were filming, but the immediate threat and situation still made my heart skip a beat. My mind raced a mile a minute thinking horrible and scary thoughts.
Truth of the matter is these situations can happen anywhere and at anytime. I pray for the day these alerts stop coming across my Ipad and people can stop living in fear.
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by Dusty Baker, Cincinnati Reds Manager