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A Teacher Reflects, Plans for Monday and Beyond

Teacher and father, Doug Weisberger considers recent events, plans for future

Tomorrow will be a difficult day. Just like after 9/11, when we welcomed children back to school, who had friends and neighbors who had suffered a tragic loss, we will once again be taking special care of your children.

Your children’s teachers are “first line responders” in the sense that they look out for your child’s emotional and physical well-being. I can only imagine that the teachers and administrators who lost their lives Friday did not think about doing something heroic, but acted on their instinct to protect the children; Just like each of you would risk your life for your child.

As we look into your children’s eyes tomorrow, we’ll be checking to make sure that they feel safe and secure. I know that the school and the district will reexamine the security plans already in place to improve them even more. We practiced a lock down drill only last week. Now the drills will take on a new significance to both faculty and children.

As we look into your children’s eyes tomorrow, we’ll be seeing you, the parents. Those of us who have the privilege, pleasure, and responsibility of being with your children each day won’t speculate what we’d do in the same situation. The reaction of the teachers in Connecticut was not written into a contract, part of negotiations, or even the new state mandated teacher evaluation….it is who we are.

And so, as we look into your children’s eyes tomorrow, we’ll be seeing our own children. But we’ll know that our children’s teachers would “take a bullet” for our children, protect our children at all cost, and we won’t worry- maybe a little- knowing that a teacher, any teacher, would act on instinct to protect our/your children.

May God bless the families who have suffered an unimaginable loss. And may God send strength to our political leaders to find the courage to do what is right…at any cost….just like the teachers in Connecticut did.

Doug Weisberger is a 5th grade teacher at Deerfield School, in Short Hills, New Jersey, and the father of 3 children. The views expressed are his own.

Alan Sanders December 17, 2012 at 01:05 PM
The man who runs the Jim Brady (Ronald Reagan's shot in the head press secretary) Gun control organization said on TV that 74% of NRA members favor stricter background check practices. Now, should a background check include unstable family members?! Would you have to ban gun ownership? I've heard that Mrs. Lanza's 'assault' rifle passed Connecticut's tough gun control laws because it didn't have an extended magazine or a scope and that it's typically used for shooting small animals like rabbits. If she was a hunter and Newtown, once rated the safest town in America as I've heard on TV, is a low crime area, why did she have handguns? I guess the root of the problem is people's love of recreational shooting, and maybe the lack of mental health services - from pre-school on.
Sara December 18, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Thank you for these words of reassurance, from teacher to parent. I am a parent of two young children. I did not comprehend or feel the depth of sadness that I have carried with me over the past days until I saw the faces of the teachers who perished while trying to save the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School. In the faces of the Sandy Hook teachers, I saw the faces of the teachers and staff at my children's school and I felt the power of knowing that each of those people at my children's school would have done the same that the Sandy Hook teachers did. They would have responded with strength and presence to protect and comfort their students through such an unfathomable event. And I know that this is true for all teachers such as yourself. And somehow the power of this knowledge has deepened the sense of loss that I feel for the children, teachers, and families of Newtown, CT.

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