Just yesterday this post-apocalyptic scene was a school, where children sat at tables, learning. Where teachers sat with them, facilitating that learning. Hours later, a tornado turned that normally noisy scene into hell.
Moore, Oklahoma is familiar with tornadoes. Two other horrific ones have hit in the past 14 years. There were death tolls then, too. But death tolls don’t tell the whole story. Especially when the tornado chews up an elementary school.
Teachers served as human shields, once again, for their students. Laying their own bodies over the fragile bodies of the children they love. And there’s not a teacher I know — and I know, literally, thousands… — who would think twice before doing the exact same thing. One teacher is in grave condition, following her shielding of three students. Others told their students to hold on to the walls of the school, placing their bodies and arms in an extended, encompassing hug to protect Moore’s children.
Teachers take a low of heat these days, even after a tragedy like Newtown, where those teachers, too, laid down their lives for the students they serve. So I’d like us to take a moment and remember: These are the people, America, to whom we send our children each day. The people to whom we entrust our children’s precious human lives. The people who lay down their own bodies for the futures of the children they care for. Here’s to every teacher I know:
Thank you. Thank you more than I can say.