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Letter to Teachers.
September 11, 2013 8:00 PM   Subscribe

A letter from a Sandy Hook Parent. Nelba Marquez-Greene lost her 6 year old daughter, Ana Grace, in the Sandy Hook tragedy. Her son was in another part of the building, heard the shooting, and survived. Nelba composed this letter to this country's teachers.
posted by HuronBob (20 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good God, that little face of hers.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:05 PM on September 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't share the writer's faith in the supernatural, but I share wholeheartedly her faith in the people who are helping that school recover.

This was a lovely letter to finish my day. Thanks for posting it.
posted by ChrisR at 8:07 PM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I...what an incredible woman.

The grace of some people just astounds me.
posted by Salamander at 8:12 PM on September 11, 2013 [11 favorites]


This particular death hit Canada hard because Nelba Marquez-Greene and her husband had recently relocated from Winnipeg to the States with their children, one of whom was murdered at Sandy Hook.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:15 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


“Don’t let them suck your fun circuits dry, Mom.”
posted by nostrada at 8:35 PM on September 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


Thank you.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:50 PM on September 11, 2013


Such grace. I'm proud to share the planet with people like her.
posted by arcticseal at 9:21 PM on September 11, 2013


Thanks for sharing this. I'm sending it on to my daughter's pre-K teacher. I've done a little teaching, and know it can be hard and scary. Even without a murderer.
posted by maniabug at 9:39 PM on September 11, 2013


When you Google “hero,” there should be a picture of a principal, a school lunch worker, a custodian, a reading specialist, a teacher, or a bus monitor. Real heroes don’t wear capes. They work in America’s schools.

I get where this mother is coming from, but I don't actually care much for this sentiment because it becomes an excuse for not paying teachers a decent salary. These are the same platitudes we give to firefighters, soldiers, and cops - that they are "special" people doing a "special" job for which we should all be grateful - and then we don't pay them a decent salary or give them the tools they actually need to do their special jobs. I mean why pay them anything at all when these dedicated heroes would do the job they love for free?

Schools should not need to hire "real heroes" - they should be able to hire rather quite unheroic, but competent people who take the job for its pay and benefits - despite the risks.
posted by three blind mice at 12:21 AM on September 12, 2013 [13 favorites]


I actually read "Being courageous requires faith. It took faith to go back to work at Sandy Hook after the shooting. Nobody had the answers or knew what would come tomorrow, but they just kept going." not as being particularly specific to religious faith. No matter their beliefs, it took faith to go back to work after such a trauma. Fundamentally you can't know what will happen in the future and I imagine it takes extraordinary effort to let yourself believe that that was an aberration. You'd *have* to believe a little in other people to go to work again.

She never mentioned God in the piece.
posted by macrael at 2:29 AM on September 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I read that as faith that this is still important, still worth doing, still vital. Nothing about the supernatural.
posted by Decani at 3:36 AM on September 12, 2013


Thanks for posting this.
posted by kavasa at 5:22 AM on September 12, 2013


That was lovely, thank you for posting. Ana Grace and her brother were surely blessed to be born into such a wonderful family.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:30 AM on September 12, 2013


I get where this mother is coming from, but I don't actually care much for this sentiment because it becomes an excuse for not paying teachers a decent salary. These are the same platitudes we give to firefighters, soldiers, and cops - that they are "special" people doing a "special" job for which we should all be grateful - and then we don't pay them a decent salary or give them the tools they actually need to do their special jobs.

If it helps, I've also heard plenty of people use the "these are heroes" claims as part of their argument in favor of paying them a decent salary.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:31 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd never argue that we overpay our firefighters or soldiers, but police officers generally have pretty cushy compensation. Their pay, combined with pension and job security leaves them much better off than most of us.

And then there's the subtle, creeping corruption, like when they take overtime pay to do jobs that really don't need to be done by police officers at all, like directing traffic around construction sites.
posted by explosion at 7:35 AM on September 12, 2013


Fun circuits.

Something. In. My Eye.
posted by allthinky at 9:06 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Schools should not need to hire "real heroes" - they should be able to hire rather quite unheroic, but competent people who take the job for its pay and benefits - despite the risks.

Sorry, but no. I've volunteered in my kids' schools, spending whole days there. And even if they were paid a six-figure income, these people would still earn the title of "hero." You have no idea what an incredible emotional burden it feels like to have 20-30 children of other parents in your care, for an extended period of time.
posted by jbickers at 9:12 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd never argue that we overpay our firefighters or soldiers...

Yeah, I was working on a project related to 9/11 and remember being stunned how little NYC was paying the firefighters who died at the WTC.
posted by AnnElk at 9:56 AM on September 12, 2013


Just a quick comment on the actual environment that allowed a probably already off-balance individual to become a murderer: teachers should all have to take some kind of child psychology course, right? If that's not already a requirement it damn well should be. I think my high school is downright *lucky* that it hasn't had any shootings yet, from the way those teachers treated all the kids who were already being shunned by the other kids. I mean, I know you're not getting paid much, but if you're prone to teenage groupthink then the position of Advanced Sophomore English Teacher is *probably* not for you...

So yes, please, pay teachers more and require that they actually be trained for the position they're filling, not just the subject they're ostensibly teaching.
posted by Mooseli at 2:53 PM on September 12, 2013


To Ms. Marquez-Greene I can only say, "Amen".
posted by Xenophon Fenderson at 5:59 PM on September 14, 2013


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