Today, I was truly saddened to hear about the fates of teachers and school personnel that impacted my youth so heavily. I have no doubt that the working relationships I built with these men and women helped to shape me as the driven, smart, talented, and creative woman I am still becoming.
It breaks my heart that the students who are working to fill those shoes my peers and I once filled will inevitably be stripped of opportunities like the ones I had during my high school career. My involvement in programs like chorus, drama, and dance gave me a peaceful place to grow during an extremely difficult time in my life.
When my family issues became community business, the creative arts faculty and the wonderful people in the front office were there to listen. They provided me with judgment-free support when I was discouraged and uncertain about everything in my life. I can honestly say that I would not have survived high school without these programs or these people.
It is my belief that lack of options and lack of opportunity for self-expression leads to lack of belief in a bigger world. Every student, whether they are enrolled in a public or private educational institution, has the right to a well-rounded education in an environment where he or she feels safe.
Not every family has the resources to seek activities for their children beyond the school environment or counseling for unhappy teens. It is the responsibility of a school system to ensure a constructive and all-inclusive quality of learning for its students. When an essential element is removed from such an environment, it has the power to negatively impact endless futures.
In addition, I know many of our community’s members are very upset. However, I don’t believe that Facebook is an appropriate venue for third parties to voice the fates of specific teachers and school employees, especially without their consent. Everyone needs to take a step back and respect the privacy of these personnel and their families during this difficult time.