Lisa Kelly shares what it’s like to teach amid the fear of another mass shooting.

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AS I sit in my classroom at View Ridge Elementary, getting ready for the day, my thoughts keep returning to the Roosevelt High School jazz band’s beautiful performance of Duke Ellington’s “Nutcracker” that all of our fourth-graders, including my son, attended. Many of our former students were performing, as well as several siblings of my current students. These kids are incredibly talented and dedicated to their musical craft.

But this morning, instead of reflecting on the joy of their musical talent, I am reflecting on the time during the performance that I spent making a plan — a plan of what I’d do if there were an active shooter in the auditorium.

What exits were available in the room? How would I tell the children to run and where would they go? Which exit should they use if the shooter were at the main door? What would I do if the shooter entered right next to my son’s seat in the auditorium, across the room from me? What if the shooter came from the door behind me? Would my fleeing elementary students make it to the high-school classrooms before they were closed and locked according to the school’s procedure for a lockdown?

‘My take’

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An article I just read stated that one’s best chance of survival is not to hide but to run, even if you have to run past the shooter. Would I be able to make the right decision to save myself, my son and help my class?

In this new day of international terrorist groups wanting to hurt others through gun violence, I am fearful of domestic terrorism. I worry about the former or current student who is looking for revenge and has access to legally purchased guns. I am concerned about the suicidal citizen who is angry with the world and armed with an arsenal of legally obtained assault-style weapons.

As my husband pointed out, whether it is a domestic situation or an international threat, the fear is the same. He and I both grew up in fear of a nuclear war. As a child, I dreamed that nuclear bombs were exploding at the naval station in the Sand Point neighborhood of Seattle as I watched from the hillside above. The Cold War has ended, but the fear has changed shape. This new fear has infiltrated all normal life experiences: holiday shopping, going to the movies, sporting events and school. Imagine the new nightmares of our children.

Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We, as a nation, have done virtually nothing to stop this new “active-shooter” reality. I’ve read about other countries that took drastic steps in response to a large shooting massacre. Not hundreds of massacres — just one massacre.

So here we sit, watching shootings unfold nearly every week, hoping for a different result in the absence of action. We are making plans to deal with our horrific new normal.

I think Einstein would agree with me: This is our nation’s insanity.