October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Read and share stories to honor survivors whose lives have been changed by domestic violence.

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C

My story is a bit different than everyone else’s on here. It didn’t end in death or injury. I don’t remember what day it was, but I knew that it was the end of the day and that I was in my sixth grade English class. I can’t remember a lot of things about that day. But I do remember being bored (I had left my phone in my locker), being annoyed that we were there for longer than a school day, and I remember trying to figure out a way to get my crush’s attention. (Embarrassing I know, but what can I say, I was 12.)

I remember me and my classmates peeking through the windows and seeing the sunlight reflect off of the SWAT teams helmets. I don’t remember hearing a knock, but my teacher swears there was one, and at some point the SWAT team burst in. I instantly burst into tears. My friend who was in the back and sleeping was woken up to a gun to her face. My crush was handcuffed. I was the first one out of the classroom. I believe that one of the SWAT members searched me and I remember him saying into the radio that “no one appeared to be injured but some are shaken up.” I wanted to run but I didn’t want them to shoot me in the back.

We were escorted to the cafeteria, where we met up with another class, and a man explained what happened and where we would go from here. (We would later find out that a boy in my grade lied and told administration that two students had guns. Thus why we were the only two classes in the cafeteria.) We were escorted to the gym, and my parents were there. We walked to the car which was a couple of blocks away (due to the parking lot being full of parents).

I didn’t want to talk about it for the next couple of years. In fact, I didn’t even realize how messed up it all was until I was 15. Now I am 18. A couple of years back, I tried to find any report on this event in the news — there was maybe a sentence or two. I’m still trying to convince myself that it happened because I’ve gone over it so many times that it doesn’t seem real. This event has affected me a lot.

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