I saw this on social media this morning and decided that I needed to share my thoughts.
I'm not only saddened and disheartened by the events taking place in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, I'm disgusted! Although I'm usually the last one to see the news or espouse a political opinion, this is not politics. This hatred, racism and bigotry is something that everyone should be disgusted by. My staff and I work very hard teaching kindness and love in our school, not because the state says we are supposed to but because it's the right thing to do. We teach that not one of us is better than another because of the color of our skin or how we were raised or our country of origin. We believe this. We share this. Our school and community believe this and want this for our children. They trust that we are sharing these values with their kids.
As the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently stated, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." YES! YES! YES! This is all we want for all of our children. For them to have a chance based on who they really are!
Every single day, this is what we work for. Yes, we want our students to meet state standards on tests but our kids are so much more than that. They are kind to each other. They care about others and work hard to do their best. We want to give them the skills and knowledge to become good citizens and care about others. We want to teach them work ethic and collaboration. We want them to care about their neighbors and friends. We want them to care about our country. This was the foundation of public schools from the start. We want to build good citizens in order that the freedoms that our forefathers fought for remain in place. When we say, "All men are created equal," we mean it for all people in our country, no matter their beliefs or skin color. This is the character that we desire. This is the world we want to live in. What happened to those white supremacists and neo-Nazis in their homes and schools that made them that way? How could this happen in this day and age... in our country? How did we miss our mark in teaching them? This is our country. What went wrong?
As Senator John McCain stated, "Our Founders fought a revolution for the idea that all men are created equal. The heirs of that revolution fought a Civil War to save our nation, conceived of liberty and dedicated to that revolutionary proposition."“White supremacists and neo-Nazis are, by definition, opposed to American patriotism and the ideals that define us as a people and make our nation special."
Thank you Sean Thom for sharing this on Facebook
And so to my fellow educators, it's up to us! It's up to us to teach and share love and kindness. It's up to us to model these things that make our country special in order that our children respect and love each other and stand up against racism and bigotry. Our children need us. Our country needs us. Let's do our job and teach kindness, equality, freedom and character. Let's be that light. Let's share that kindness. Let's stand up to hatred. IT'S UP TO US!