Unnerving yet understandable

Published 11:03 am Wednesday, December 19, 2012

There are few sights more disconcerting than armed police standing guard over local elementary schools with teachers escorting children into a place that should be safer than any other.

Yet after Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., devastated the community and broke the hearts of those who watched in horror from around the world, that is exactly the scene that played out this week at schools across the country and at home.

School officials were right to increase security and show a greater presence when welcoming students to school on Monday, as it did as much for the peace of mind of parents as for the actual safety and wellbeing of the children.

Administrators and teachers, like the rest of us, don’t always get it right. Like us, they too are flawed. Like us, they too are human.

But, make no mistake; they too, like you, love your children. And they would do anything within their power to keep them safe.

Teachers don’t decide to become educators for the glamour or money. They do it because a teacher once impacted them and changed their life.

They do it because they love children and want to play a role in helping them grow and develop, intellectually as well as emotionally. Many do it because it’s the only thing they ever really remember wanting to do.

So for those of you who saw teachers this week comforting and escorting their smallest students into their classrooms, remember this; the teachers at Sandy Hook who died as heroes protecting students didn’t do it because it was in their job description. They did it because it was in their DNA.

The teachers and police you saw in front of local schools this week would likely have done the same thing.