Twenty Won’t Be Teens (Remembering Newtown)

Twenty Won’t Be Teens (Remembering Newtown) April 11, 2019

This week, as I was watching my 8th grade class take a quiz, I had an article pop up on my screen about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. As a teacher, that day is one of the most gut-wrenching memories of my career. I couldn’t believe it when it happened and I still can’t get my mind around it. That a madman could stroll into an elementary school and coldly mow down 26 innocent lives–20 of them small children—is as inconceivable a notion as I can imagine. But it did happen–variations of this scenario continue to happen. One point brought out in that article I read really floored me. Those kids would now be teenagers. I did the math and realized that many of them would be 8th students right now–just like the students I was watching at the moment the article notification popped up. That hit me pretty hard. Those 20 kids never got to be 8th graders.

I immediately started putting some words together in my head, as I always do when something affects me on a deeply emotional level. When I got home, I wrote down a poem and then it quickly became a song. What follows is that poem and a video of the song.

I dedicate it to the memory of those 20 precious children who never got to be teens and to their families who still mourn them.

God bless them all.

 

Twenty Won’t Be Teens

By: Shane Phipps

 

As I look out on teenage faces

Just being kids as they know how

I’m haunted by your fading traces

You would have all been teens by now

 

That awful day comes back to mind

That madman spraying death

Someone must have missed a sign

As a nation held its breath

 

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

no longer alive

6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Won’t be seen again

11, 12, 13, 14, 15

They would all be teens

16, 17, 18, 19, 20

And one would be too many

 

You’d think that would have been enough

To anger us to change

Instead we just accept this stuff

And blame it on deranged

 

When will we finally see the light?

So much pain from one machine

Kids shouldn’t have to run or fight

Those twenty won’t be teens

 

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

no longer alive

6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Won’t be seen again

11, 12, 13, 14, 15

They would all be teens

16, 17, 18, 19, 20

And one would be too many

 

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