To the editor:
As Kansas teachers returned to work this week, they grieved for their colleagues in Connecticut, for the children – much like their own students – whose lives were tragically cut short, for the families of victims and for all of the Newtown community that will be forever marked by these tragic events.
As we pause to reflect on that horrific day and its aftermath, let us ask ourselves as a society the tough questions. Speaking in Newtown, President Obama posed the very questions we must all now consider.
These are questions not just for the president or Congress or Connecticut. In light of such repeated tragedies; in light of the experiences at Columbine High School, at Virginia Tech University, in a supermarket parking lot in Tucson, Arizona, at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, a temple in Wisconsin, a mall in Oregon and so many other places across this nation, these are questions for all of us. Because there but for the grace of God go we.
Do we care enough for our children that we protect them from harm, keep them safe, provide them opportunities, and care for their needs?
Do we care enough for our neighbors that we watch over them and provide them the help and services to cope with mental illnesses, domestic crises, and even the stresses of everyday life?
Kansas is not immune to acts such as we saw in Newtown. We have been spared so far but are we so different from Connecticut or Virginia or Colorado that we can rest easy?
Let us all reflect on these events; let us pray, let us talk, let us challenge ourselves to do better by each other.
Let us not rest easy until we can send our children off to school, our loved ones to their worksites, knowing that at the end of each day we will be together once again embraced in the love of family and community.