The school we supply sandwiches to each week asked us if we could help to do some painting and wall repair, to which we gladly said yes. Even though the city is responsible for the repairs the city is so far in the red that painting and repairing some of the drywall is out of the question.
We started working the same day “Operation Protective Edge” started. Summer school was in full swing when we started our work and in as much as the whole school is a bomb shelter the children are safe inside the school building.
One morning I woke up to the sound of artillery and heavy machine gun fire at 630 a.m., it continued non-stopped until 10:00-10:30. By 9:00 we were at the school painting. The school is closer to the Gaza border that my house and because the school is two stories with high ceiling the artillery fire echoes in the school.
It is hard to image how these 1-6 grade children can settle down enough to concentrate and learn with the constant booms going off all the time. Is there any wonder why kids in Sderot still wet the bed at night or can’t sleep in their own beds? I can’t say this enough or stress this enough… NO ONE in Sderot suffers from PTSS… We ALL suffer from ATSS Accumulative Traumatic Stress Syndrome and it has been going on for the past 13 years.
The widows in the school are about an inch and a half thick and are designed to withstand shrapnel from a Kassam. The entrance doors to the school are heavy steel with rubber covering the length on the hinged side of the door to protect little finger from being crushed. The doors to the class room are heavy solid wood doors with the same protection.
Even thought the entire school is reinforced there are four “Safe Rooms” two on each floor that can be used to protect the entire student population of the school if necessary. The safe rooms are one over the other and they have a steel door between the first and second floor that connect the two safe rooms.
Gabby is the armed guard for the school. He insures that the entrance to the school is locked at all time and anyone coming or leaving the school gets in or out through him. The entrance to the school grounds is a free standing bomb shelter that can protect two busloads of arriving students.
One morning we arrived to go to work but there wasn’t a car to be found in the parking lot; That was the morning that ten infiltrators made their way to Kibbutz Nir Am, maybe a half mile away from the school before they were eliminated by the IDF.
This is the life of the children of Sderot.