As we take a moment to remember the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, we wanted to share a few passages of a letter written after the heartbreaking event. Written by Ms. Nelba Marquez-Greene, who lost her 6-year-old daughter, Ana Grace, in the shooting, the letter recognizes the importance of teachers.
It takes guts to be a teacher. Six brave women gave their lives trying to protect their students at Sandy Hook. Other teachers were forced to run from the building, stepping over the bodies of their friends and colleagues, and they came right back to work.
Your courage will support students who are left out and overlooked, like the isolated young man who killed my daughter. At some point he was a young, impressionable student, often sitting all alone at school. You will have kids facing long odds for whom your smile, your encouraging word, and your willingness to go the extra mile will provide the comfort and security they need to try again tomorrow.
When you Google “hero,” there should be a picture of a principal, a school lunch worker, a custodian, a reading specialist, a teacher, or a bus monitor. Real heroes don’t wear capes. They work in America’s schools.
To read the letter in its entirety, please click here.