Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I write this letter with a heavy heart, because I fear that my community is losing not only its mind, but more importantly, its heart.

A community is a collection of people, and like any family, contains conflicting opinions and attitudes. Many a parent has said to a child, “I don’t like your actions, but I will always love you.” Yet, I watch as we turn on our neighbors with unprecendented levels of anger and vitriol.

Many nations of the world realize the importance of education, sacrificing everything for their children's schooling. Many children walk miles or hours to get to school. Recently, I watched a story about a small Himalayan village where children walk several days through glaciers, mountain passes, and inclement weather to reach a school where they stay for months.

Yet, I hear members of this community attacking our teachers, the very people working tohelp our children become our future society. Every one of us has been deeply influenced and inspired by a teacher. I cannot say the same about doctors or lawyers.

If you have concerns about our educational system in this state or this country (as you should), write to your officials or visit the Ohio Board of Education. If you are concerned about the unconstitutionality of how our education is funded through property taxes (as you should), then write to your officials, march on Columbus, or come up with a better idea. But teachers are not ideas and concepts; they are people, and all members of a community should be valued as the important human beings they are. Has our privileged Brecksville community lost its mind such that it cannot discuss opposing viewpoints in a civil and rational manner? Has our privileged Brecksville community lost its heart such that it must denigrate members of our community rather than search for understanding?

Attacking our teachers doesn’t improve our children’s education. Attacking teachers doesn’t fix how schools are funded. Attacking teachers doesn’t encourage others to moveto our community. Attacking teachers doesn’t lead to a solution. Solutions are born of understanding, of working together.

I hope that our hearts still beat and that our community can come to value the worth of each of its members far above that of money or any other concept. I hope that we can fight for our teachers, even while we fight to improve education for our children.