The following is a copy of the letter I sent to my child’s school this morning (minus identifying details of course).
An Open Letter to the Entire Staff of (my child’s school),
There are many words that one can use today but the word that I choose to use the most right now is thanks.
To all of you who work at (the school), I’ve watched you. I’ve seen you smile at our children. I’ve seen you reassure a child who is sad. I’ve seen you gently guide a child who has gotten into a bit of mischief. I’ve seen you even offer a hug to a distressed child when today’s society dictates distance. It makes you human. It makes you heroes.
I know when I send my child into your building for the majority of his day, that I am sending him off to be with people who love and care for him. I know that every one of you would protect your charges as though they were your own because in so many ways, they are.
Teachers, secretaries, therapists, and school leaders should never have to consider themselves in the role of first responder. And yet in today’s world of disturbed individuals, we all need to be prepared for everything.
Today I say thank you – to every single employee at (the school). Thank you for practicing drills to keep our children safe. Thank you for offering kindness to our children and demonstrating kindness with one another. Thank you for putting our children and their safety first.
Thank you for the peace of mind I have knowing that my child will be as safe as possible in his classroom today because every single one of you makes it so.
With gratitude and respect,
I received the following email from the principal of the school later the same day-
Dear Mrs. —–
Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge my staff. Your letter was beautiful and heartwarming. I had a full faculty conference today after-school and I read your letter aloud to my staff.
Safety and education are our two main responsibilities! As you know, we take both of them extremely seriously.
(name withheld to maintain his privacy)