Central Ohio

Tragedy illustrates dedication, care for others by teachers, first responders

To the Editor:

Amid the tragic realities of the Newtown shootings, the individual expressions of responsibility, genuine love and care rise to the surface. As we all try to escape the horror of last Friday morning, we can not forget the bravery and love exemplified by the educators and first responders of that day. They are not just national heroes; they are real life examples of their fellow professionals.

Their care for those in their charge and their acts of heroism, represent a natural reaction, to some extent, but more importantly, they represent the dedication of those that serve and protect our children and neighborhoods every day. Most importantly, they represent the vast majority of their profession, background, and upbringing. Ladies and gentlemen, they are our friends, neighbors, colleagues, heroes, etc. ... and just like us!

These remarkable individuals in Newtown have given all of us hope and a moment of solace but, they are not unique to their professions. They are "those" people who are criticized for not caring about children, just caring about themselves and they are "those" people who have had legislation drawn against them for being paid too much for educating and caring for our children and our communities. During these moments of both grief and reflection, we might want to rethink some of these positions.

Also, during this time of loss and mourning, let's remember the real reason we are in the positions of educators and first responders; for the love of the job and the people we serve. Let's all take a moment to remember the tragic loss of our fellow colleagues.

Hopefully, it doesn't require a tragedy to help us understand who we really are, who is really on our children's side and who really cares.

Michael L. Collins
Member, State Board of Education, 6th District