A couple of readers have written to ask why Eduwonk has not written about this horror in Russia. The answer is, what more is there to say? It’s awful. Especially because the custom there is that the first day of school is a big celebration with lots of parents and visitors. Besides, the Eduwife lived and taught in this part of the world for several years, and trained teachers there after that, so it’s her bailiwick anyway.
Update — Context from the Eduwife: It’s probably hard for most Americans to understand the excitement of the first bell ceremony the Beslan school was celebrating when their school came under attack. It’s different than most first days here. More than likely, parents and community members, jammed into the tight quarters, must have strained to see as their children filing forward with the ringing of the traditional bell. The heat of the auditorium would have been stifling, but no one in the community would want to miss the girls in their enormous white bows and black and white dresses and boys in their finest. The air would have filled with joy and opportunity.