“Stay under the desk, away from floors and windows and do exactly what your teacher tells you to.”
Those were Fair Lawn native Robin Honigstock Krooks' words of advice to her son, Noah, a ninth grader at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Honigstock Krooks graduated from Fair Lawn High School in 1985.
Noah survived the shooting that took the lives of 17 people including Woodcliff Lake's Alyssa Alhadeff.
His father, Howard S. Krooks, shared the text messages he exchanged with Noah during the massacre on Facebook in an open to letter to Congress and Trump.
It is 2:38 pm on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. I am at work when I receive a text from my son, Noah, a 9th grader at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“Dad, I think there is a shooter at the school I’m in.” “I think it’s real.”
“How do you know it’s real?” I ask, not knowing whether now is really the time for discerning inquiry with my 15-year-old. Do I just accept this information as true and react? It’s not every day a father receives that kind of text from his child. Let’s see what he says…
“I hear gunshots, right outside my classroom,” was the response. How could anyone argue with that, I think to myself. OK, as I begin breathing deeply just to maintain some composure, what do I say next?
“R u safe?” Wow. That’s really stupid. Of course he’s not safe. He’s in a school with a mentally ill person running through the halls of the school shooting everything and everyone in sight.
“There was gunshots and there r sirens and we hear police in the classrooms.”
“R u safe”, I say again, desperately needing to know if he is safe, or as safe as can be under the circumstances and as events are unfolding.
“I’m in classroom.” “Police are here.”
“Is your teacher there?”
“Yea.” Thank G-d for that, I think to myself.
“Is there a cop in the room?”
“In the school trynna to find the guy.”
“R u underneath a desk?”
“Yea.” “They’re fighting him now I think.”
"I want to end with an apology," Krooks writes at the end of the letter.
"My apology goes to everyone affected by other school shootings in our country’s history. My heart went out to everyone affected during those times (I sound like one of the politicians), but it wasn’t until it hit me in my own home, my own backyard, and my own children were affected, that I took the time to write this plea to our lawmakers seeking to effectuate change. I hope you can forgive me for that."
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