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Sarah Lerner

I am a teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I was on campus on February 14, 2018, and I was locked in my classroom with 15 students for almost three hours until the SWAT Team let us out. I suffer from PTSD and see a psychologist regularly. I have recently considered anxiety medication because there are days that the feelings are just too overwhelming.

The past two years have been very difficult. I see the pain on the faces of the juniors and seniors who were on campus that day. Every fire alarm. Every Code Red drill. Every birthday. Every holiday.

There are days that it’s very difficult to go to school and be on campus. The building is up and is right outside of my classroom. I know I have to stay at MSD for the students — and for myself. There’s nowhere else I want to teach, and there’s nothing else I want to do.

Trauma is real and never goes away. You can learn to work through it and deal with it, but it never leaves you.

I live my new normal every day.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.