Treat teachers as heroes
Over the weekend and into Monday, stories continued to flood in surrounding the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
While the national media tended to spend its focus on stories regarding the horrific act that took the lives of countless small children, there were a few that shed a heroic light on the infamous ordeal.
There were stories about teachers whose first instinct was to protect the young children in their care, with little regard to themselves.
Teachers who were thrust into a position they never asked for.
A position of becoming the sole protector to numerous scared elementary school children who could not begin to comprehend the situation they were in. They were frightened beyond belief and it was the teachers that served as their protector and guardians.
Had the teachers and administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary been in the military, their actions to protect their students would make them almost instant candidates for the Medal of Honor.
We believe those women should be accorded equivalent honor and respect.
It brings about a much larger question on the treatment of our teachers, even here in Rutherford County.
When our children fail to learn, we are very quick to blame the teachers rather than to consider if they have been provided sufficient resources to teach effectively or if those students have support from their parents.
In a sense, we have made our educators relative scapegoats for inadequacies that can easily be attributed to ourselves, as a community.
We have stood by in relative silence as one state attempted to strip its teachers of their right to collective bargaining.
There have been instances in this country where actions taken have gone to mute the voices of teachers when all they seek if fair treatment from our leaders.
Following the devastating attacks of 9-11, we elevated our first responders to hero status ... and rightfully so.
As a result of the Gulf wars, the once humble soldier is now also considered to be a hero.
We believe that it is high time we view teachers and school administrators through the same lens of honor and respect.
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark