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I’m on the couch next to my 9-year-old daughter JoJo while she watches “Pair of Kings”.  Five hours ago she was lying face down in a park in Santa Monica about 100 yards from where a lunatic opened fire.  It was a field trip just a block from her school where the kids were supposed to be having relay races and eating watermelon to celebrate the end of the school year.

A lot of kids got hysterical as teachers yelled at them to stay down.  My daughter stayed cool and actually comforted some of her friends.  My wife was chaperoning the picnic, and when JoJo found her she couldn’t keep it in.  She cried that she wanted to go home and a little while later threw up.

The teachers did what great teachers do: they took control and got the kids into the community center where they distracted them with games.  Balancing the protocols of a high-alert situation with the sensitivity those children needed at that moment is a tall order.  Towards the end of the four-hour lockdown, with choppers beating overhead, Mrs. Salmaggi taught the kids to do ‘The Hustle’.

I put a lot of trust in my kid’s teachers.  They mold them and inspire them every day and on certain days they do more; they make them safe.  We cannot do enough to develop and maintain great public school teachers, as we demand more and more from them.  When I finally got to hug my daughter I was dizzy with gratitude, much of it towards these teachers who stepped up made things seem normal when they were not.

My kids asked if I’d make pancakes and smoothies for dinner and JoJo wants to stay in the house for the rest of the weekend.  I asked her what we’d do all day and she said we could play Rummy Cube and watch “Dumb and Dumber”.  She also asked if we have the music for “The Hustle”.

 

 

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  • thomas - June 8, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Holy shit! Really Greg? I’m so not surprised this happened man. But soooo fucking thrilled that your daughter and wife didn’t get fucking shot. I can’t even believe I just typed that last sentence. Greg, I am just a guy that works for a living and likes to laugh. But things are getting dicey out there (out of your fucking house). I remember when 911 happened and I (who lives in Seattle) was actually panicked about Howard Stern. The pint I’m making is that these things really hit me personally when popular figures like yourself are involved. I’m sorry man. But if you ever come to my town, I’ll be one of those people like those teachers who helped make things better. Love you man,
    Peace

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  • scott - June 8, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    Wow! sorry to hear about that Greg that’s crazy! much love and peace to you and your family give them an extra hug.

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  • Ali - June 9, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    Teachers are very important. People tend not to give them enough credit.

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  • Jeff - June 10, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    Touching story, thanks for sharing. My wife is a first-year public school teacher and sometimes, after a bad day, she comes home questioning whether she wants to continue to teach high school as a career. I then help her to think about all the good she does and I see her eyes light up when she tells me how she helped a kid finally “get it” in her class. While she has never had to deal with anything close to what you are describing here, I agree that good teachers are a very valuable asset, and I hope that more adults realize that. Again, thanks for sharing and I am glad that your child and her classmates are safe.

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