Archive for the ‘Amish School shooting’ Category

Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.


When the Amish shooting happened on October 2nd  we were in a shock. We had read in the paper of shootings in public school, but we never thought it would happen to an Amish or Mennonite school. Maybe we were naive in our thinking-I really think we were that day. My Mother called and said that she had heard of the killing of five Amish children in a school in Pennsylvania. I told her I would let her know. I went upstairs and turned the television on. They only told us  that there had been a shooting in Pennsylvania Amish school and that there had been children inside. Later we found out that five girls went (died) and later another went (died). We learned later that the Amish settlement  where the Amish school was located  had known   about the shootings, but we found out before some of  those Amish did in Pennsylvania. We had Mennonite friends and relatives in Pennsylvania call us, but since  the Amish don’t have phones-so we found out before some of them did. Some of the Mennonites up here were leaving messages on some of the shanty phones to their Amish friends to  areas in Pennsylvania. Martha’s parents found out about the shootings on their computer and called Martha who, in turn, called us and we told her we already knew. It was really a shock. We couldn’t believe this was happening in an Amish School. At that time we did not have any Amish living in Gorham, but we started a money collection to send to the Amish Relief Fund like we did for Jasper and Woodhull, New York recently. Hearing of the parents whose daughters had passed away really hit us as Susan was just over a year old-I thought how I would feel if something happened to her. Also, we heard of the girls that were injured. It was even harder to understand when we found that the man that did it was married, had children of his own and had picked up milk at these Amish houses. He had taken his life,the Amish being as they are, forgave that man. Some of the Amish people went to the man’s wife’s house and told his wife that he was forgiven. Some of the money the Amish received went to the man that shot the girls wife and children. She wanted to move away, but the Amish talked them into staying in their area. The man’s wife did sell her house and buy another one-because she didn’t want to live in that house anymore-but still lives in the Amish area. Most of the people that were at the man’s funeral were Amish. People from around the world prayed and sent money to both the Amish Relief Fund and the family of the man that shot the girls. Most of the money went to the medical bills of the girls that were injured for the medical bills. The Amish did tear down the old school and built a new one at another location. The new school was built between two houses. The wife of the man that shot the girls put her money aside for her children’s education. This shooting has put changes in our one room school that Susan attends. We have put in a telephone that can be used in an emergency. When they put the addition on the school-there are three doors that are kept locked. All the children are taught to lock and unlock the doors. Our school was surrounded by bushes and trees so it couldn’t be seen from the road, but a lot of that has been removed so in case the children had to get out and run-they could. Also the houses on either side of it can now see the school. On one side of our school is an Amish family-and other other a Mennonite family-and across the street is a Mennonite family. All have agreed that if something happened at the school-they would take all the children inside. We don’t think of a shooting all the time, but what if the school got struck by lightening or something happened that would cause a fire, or if the oil struck a leak in the furnace or whatever could happen-we know that the children have a place to go. After the tornado in Savannah the school board is talking about building a new school with a basement under it. Our school doesn’t have a basement. If there was a tornado coming the children would have to run to one of the houses, because they don’t think the school could take a tornado and there is no basement. We are concerned now that we have Michael because he goes to the Public School. There are more problems with the Public Schools than are with the Mennonite/Amish schools. The Gorham School District doesn’t have the problems that the city school districts do, but there are still drug problems, girls and boys getting close, and more. Children have more of their own say and way of living than we have in our schools. I guess you would say more freedom. Some education taught in the public schools we don’t teach in our schools and don’t want it taught there. We don’t want Michael taking these courses, but we don’t have any choice. I don’t believe we feel any different with outsiders, We know there are people that do good things in the world and bad things in the world. We must not judge people or why they do what they do-both outsides, Mennonites or Amish. We have no right to judge. We just hope and pray nothing like this happens again in any school: Mennonite, Amish or public schools. Be With God, Jean


Don’t miss what I’m calling “pumpkin Wednesday” with 3 of Jeans homemade recipes using pumpkins. One of which is an Amish recipe!  Along with Jeans recipe’s i will post some “Amish home remedies” along with a few house cleaning tips the “Amish way”. 

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