Positive Thoughts for Newtown
There is no ideal way to respond to the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT. As Peter DeWitt of Education Week said, “On Friday, every educator and administrator who is fortunate enough to work with students, regardless of whether they are in a primary or secondary school, had a piece of themselves taken away.”
It is important to honor and recognize the staff, teachers, and administrators of Sandy Hook Elementary School as dedicated educators. The days and weeks preceding December 14th were full of robust and excited learning, typical of most elementary schools.
The New York Times reported Principal Dawn Hochsprung was a tech savvy educator who inspired her staff in policy debates and her students through fun, silly costume days as well as cheered their success in learning the common core. One look at Principal Hochsprung’s Twitter feed shows her excitement and love for her profession.
For the grieving survivors of Newtown, it is critical that they find a safe way to band together to help bring things back to normal, and they are doing just that. Staff and students have started this school week in nearby Monroe, CT at Chalk Hill School. Teachers are receiving training on how to speak with students and answer their questions. It is expected that this heartbreak will affect children who were not harmed at Sandy Hook, even those that may be thousands of miles away. There are numerous opinions on how to speak with children about tragedy, but these two articles from National Public Radio are a good jumping off point, “Tragedy and Children: What to Discuss” and “A Nation in Mourning: How We Cope”.
The School Alliance extends our deepest condolences to the students, educators and families of Newtown, CT. The fight for quality public education is the fight for kids to have better lives.
It is the right of every child, every person, to live a full life. In the wake of such tragedies, and every single day, value those that are closest to you.
With positive thoughts,
Terry Bergeson, Ph.D.