"Some of the children reached into their backpacks for objects that brought them comfort — dolls, stuffed animals, worn blankets — which Mrs. Wexler always encouraged them to bring to school."
Amulets of love and good times furnished strength and comfort.
"Mrs. Wexler, who spent 20 years in corporate finance before turning to teaching, began to sing holiday songs in a whisper.
The children whispered along.
“Jingle Bells.” “Silent Night.” “I Have a Little Dreidel.”
They did not pause when they heard shots or screams."
They sang together in unison and unity holding onto each other.
They drew together.
"In an art classroom, the door would not shut, so the teacher rushed the children into a small office. One girl, Vanessa Bajraliu, 9, thought a wild animal was inside the building.
“Like a deer,” she said later."
Their teacher taped over the door’s clear windows with pictures and drawings. They waited."
Art as shield and talisman.