Feature Photo By: Myriam-Fernanda Alcala Delgado – Rangeview students reunite with each other and families outside King Soopers (the evacuation site), after the shooting threat last Friday, November 2nd.
Editor’s note: This week, a Rangeview teacher reached out to the Review in hopes of having their voice heard, too, about last Friday’s events. The teacher wishes to remain anonymous.
An open letter to the students of Rangeview High School:
When I heard the urgency in Mr. Fay’s voice as he told us to take cover last Friday, I was scared, too.
Crouching next to you on the floor, trying to stay invisible, I watched as you texted “I love you” to your family, just in case, and I barely held back tears. I saw the fatigue of staying hidden start to creep in as you shifted uncomfortably, consciously having to remind yourself to stay quiet. In a generation that values exercising its voice, it is hard to remain silent.
I want you to know this: as I sat in the dark, I was grateful that I was in the room with you. My strongest memory of that day will always be the moment in which I realized that if I had to be in that situation, I wanted to be in it with Rangeview Raiders.
When I stepped over the threshold into the school on the following Monday, I chose you. This is true of all of your teachers: every day we are here (and even most of the days we’re not) we choose you. We care deeply for you (even though we might sometimes seem a little tough on you). When you share your struggles with us, we worry about you. When you are joyful or excited, we are thrilled for you. When you aren’t here, we wonder if you’re okay and think about how we can help you. We see many versions of you: the triumphs, the struggles, the questions, the passions, the conflicts, the many moments that help define who you will be for the rest of your life.
Friday may have been one of those defining moments, and I can relate to that. But one of the most important things I have observed about the classes of 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 is that you are determined, persistent, and resilient. What you do now, in the aftermath of a traumatic experience, can be empowering in a new way. Consider Maya Angelou’s words: “You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger, yes. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.” However you process last Friday’s events — and we have many different ways of doing so — I hope that you do it in a way that helps you grow as a human being. If you are willing and able, I hope you do it in a way that allows you to be an ally, an advocate, a compassionate friend, a more informed citizen.
These are the qualities that define the Raider Family — and make no mistake, we are a family. Sure, sometimes families squabble or disagree; they may sometimes struggle to communicate or might even have to navigate different core values. Sometimes families have to be vulnerable to find that they have unconditional support. Sometimes families must face a crisis, but they do it together. This Raider Family has been tested, but we are strong because we have each other. Now is the time for us to grow closer together, to speak love and respect to each other, and to be honest about the ways we can all be better.
Rangeview Raiders, it is a privilege to spend every day with you.
With love and gratitude,
A Rangeview Teacher