It's a bit hard to celebrate this morning, as the memories of last year, the Sandy Hook tragedy, come flooding back. Children, teachers, administrators were lost in a blink of an eye. Families, schools, communities were changed forever in a moment of madness. All of us who work with or care about children and teachers were changed in some way by the events of last year. Yet, there are some changes in our children, schools and families that have occurred that are worthy of celebration.
1. Our schools are safer than ever before. More, better, different, thought out security systems are in place in schools everywhere. We do not assume that things will be OK because we are in elementary schools anymore. It's not perfect, nor will it ever be perfectly safe, but it is better.
2. Our children are kinder than ever before. We're ever more watchful of bullying, name calling, and the tribulations of childhood. We do not accept or allow any form of harassment. It's not perfect, nor will it ever be, but it is better.
3. Our prayers are louder than ever before. We pray that parents, teachers will work closely with those in the mental health field to help and support depression, obsessions, and metal health issues. We pray that someday, soon, we can provide, offer, and accept mental health interventions whenever they are needed. It's not perfect yet, nor will it ever be, but it's a little better.
Today, on this day of remembrance, celebrate by holding those you treasure a little closer. Celebrate with words and acts of kindness. Celebrate by doing something to make this world a little better for someone.