As I watch news I cannot help but be saddened for our country. We are in a time when the moral fabric of our nation is, and will continue to be, tested.
Our children are not immune from hearing about the worst our country has to offer. They are in the room when we are watching the news. They are listening to what we say in our homes and with our friends. Many of our students live in situations of violence or neglect. Those students may have experienced abuse at the hands of those they look to for protection and comfort.
Children of all stripes will show up at your school in August. Kids in stable homes, dysfunctional homes, those who live in houses, or apartments, or who are homeless will all cross the threshold of your school. Your students will come into contact with bus drivers, cafeteria personnel, teacher aides, and many more school employees each day. The students in the schools in which you lead are depending on you to place each of them in just the right classroom with just the right teacher. Every student will be looking to you for love and direction.
I am comforted you, your teachers, and your entire school staff are up to the task. For many, many years society has asked our schools to cure society's ills and to provide a place of safety for all kids. I agree with them! You are doing exactly that! How many struggling neighborhoods do we see where schools serve as a refuge for children? I have served in communities where the local school was the only place of peace for kids, where families looked to for social services, and where parents knew their children would be provided a way to the American dream. And, you serve there now! I'm proud to say you and your schools can provide the solution for our country that so many seek.
Thank you for sacrificing so much to impact so many for so little in return. Thank you!