Just as This Active Life was going to press, the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, rocked our nation.
Weeks have passed since the tragedy. Yet I—like many of you—remain shocked and devastated. The school’s students and its teachers—those who survived and those who did not—remain in my thoughts and prayers. As educators, we know this tragedy could have been much worse without the brave acts of teachers and support staff.
Just one month before Sandy Hook, friends of education successfully re-elected Pres. Barack Obama and helped other supporters of public schools win elections across the nation.
The column I originally prepared for this space celebrated these accomplishments, and suggested that we celebrate the difference we made at the polls by remembering to make a difference for colleagues who were—and still are—regrouping following Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter that came after.
Then, Sandy Hook gave us more reasons to make a difference.
I urge you to visit nea.org/safeschools and send a message of condolence or support to those who have been affected by the tragedy. To help colleagues affected by the storms, please donate to the NEA HIN Disaster Relief Fund by visiting neahin.org/disasterrelief, or send a check, payable to the fund, to 1201 16th Street, NW, #216, Washington, DC 20005.
As those who were affected by Sandy Hook put their lives back together, and those affected by the storms continue to rebuild, let us do what educators do best: Let’s reach out. As we do, let’s hope that no other school or community endures the grief and sadness that have visited Newtown.