My heart is so heavy after what happened in Parkland, FL on Valentine’s Day. The idea that one person could cause so much heartache and pain hurts so much. I pray for the families of the beautiful children who had their lives shortened so violently. I pray for the families of the teachers and coaches who gave their lives to save many children.
Every child is a gift. Every teacher shouldn’t have to figure out if they have to give up their lives to save the children. A school needs to be a safe place to teach and learn. Teachers are heroes every day and will do whatever they can to protect the children. Parents need to know that when they say to their child “have a great day” in school, that they don’t have to be concerned if their child will die that day. I can’t even imagine what the families are going through or how the children who lived through the horror will be traumatized for life. I don’t know what children think when they go to school now.
How many children dying will it take to say #ENOUGH?
Reality is starting to kick in by the children who survived. Funerals of their friends are happening this week. Teachers are on edge and trying to figure out how they can keep the children safe. I just heard that a school in my city, Oakland, CA, is having an active shooting training today. Today, I heard there is another report on the news of a shooting and lockdown in Washington State at Highline College.
What is going on in our country?
I know we can make the changes we need to make to save another child. This has to stop. The world is watching. We can all start with each of us being there for every child by believing we can make changes that focus on love and kindness first. I think if each of us believes we have the power to make even the smallest change happen, we can reverse the focus in our country from FEAR to focus on LOVE and KINDNESS.
FEAR stops us in our tracks and keeps us from moving forward. The only way to get through this is to embrace change and consider that demonstrating love and kindness will make us stronger together. Here are some posts from a few of my friends on Twitter who wrote about #kindness today.
- Tamara Letter @tamaraletter wrote I Can
- Rich Czyz @RACzyz wrote Let Love Win
- Roman Nowak @NowakRo wrote In the End Only Kindness Matters
- Tara Martin @TaraMartin EDU wrote Unconditional
- Pernille Ripp @pernilleripp wrote I don’t want to be a hero
When I read what my friends write, their writing made me think, reflect, and want to write also. We are not alone. I first wrote that the teachers that gave up their lives were heroes. But when I read Pernille’s post, she is right. Teachers shouldn’t think that they have to die to protect the children. They also shouldn’t have to carry a gun or bat. How would that protect them against an assault rifle? After reading her post, I had to go back and rethink what I wrote. We can all reflect on how this makes us feel, what it means for kids, and help us on our journeys to #BetheChange:
Here’s what I believe:
I believe that each and every child matters.
I believe all of us have a purpose to be here.
I believe every child needs a support system just like “it takes a village.”
I believe if a child is in trouble, we need to work together to get them the help they need so they don’t hurt anyone else.
I believe we need to build communities that foster a culture based on respect, trust, and kindness.
I believe now is the time to ban semi-automatic weapons.
I believe teachers and parents can model and encourage “Kindness” to others.
I believe we do not need more guns to stop school shootings.
I believe we need children to tell and share their stories.
I believe teachers need to tell their stories and be valued as the professionals they are.
I believe that schools can be community learning centers where everyone is a teacher and a learner.
I believe we can have a mindset to do what’s best for our kids and our country.
I believe it is time to know each and every child in the school.
I believe in building a caring community that encourages compassion and empathy.
I believe it is time to address equity and social justice for all children.
I believe that each of us is unique and needs to express our hopes and dreams.
I believe it is important to listen more so you really hear what someone is saying.
I believe people are mostly good and kind.
I believe our country is better than this.
I believe that we have to say “enough” now.
I believe each of us can #BeTheChange!
I believe in you!