I feel I just have to write something about the school shooting tragedy in Newton, Connecticut but I’ve been avoiding it. As a principal of a K-4 school myself, the tragedy comes too close to home. But that would be true for almost any principal, teacher, parent or any caring human being for that matter.
The students and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School returned to school this month in a converted middle school six miles away from the building where so many innocent lives were taken. How brave these children, teachers and parents must be to return to school.
They returned because school is a powerful thing. In a world where we are constantly challenged to show the value of school, the people of Newton have shown us that school is more than test scores, and arguments over funding and teacher evaluations. The families of Newton yearn for the best things school has to offer:
- Friendships that last a lifetime
- Caring adults who help you to be your best
- The wonder of learning new facts and ideas
- Remembering the first day you became a reader
- Helping a friend solve a math problem.
- The warmth and security of nap time in kindergarten
- The coolness of the water from the fountain down the hall.
- The feeling of the wind in your hair as you pump higher and higher on the playground swing
These things are so powerful that the families of Newton pushed past enormous fear and sorrow to a strange building to recreate that thing we call school. Bravo for them.