Last night was a difficult one for me, as it was for many of you. My heart is heavy right now—not only because I wanted so much to elect Hillary Clinton—but because I wanted so much a different future for our children.
It would be too easy to allow ourselves to give in to that despair, fear, and anger – to assume that losing an election means we give up, move to Canada, or go back to bed for the next four years. But that is not our way. We are educators. Instead we must realize that today is not the end but the beginning of what we do to keep our country strong for our children. Don’t mourn. Organize.
This morning we face the awesome responsibility of our profession: to comfort our children, to alleviate their fears, and to be a force for good in the world. We have an awesome responsibility to ensure that the worst of the campaign rhetoric does not become a reality—by standing up for what is right, by standing firm against values we know are wrong, and by standing firm in our efforts to build a better future.
We must ensure that the threats to lash out at communities of color and immigrants and Muslims never come to fruition. We must empower our mothers, sisters and daughters who have been demeaned by the trivialization of sexual assault to continue the fight to elevate respect above all. We must work every day to provide a counterbalance for our children—making sure that bullying is not normalized.
We, who dedicate our lives to shaping and informing future generations and who live to create hope for the fulfillment of a child’s potential, will never stand by and see that hope cut short.
We sacrifice and dedicate our lives to building a better future for our students and therefore our country.
We have never wavered in our determination to fight for our students even in the face of opponents who do everything they can to undermine our resolve and strip our students and educators of the support they deserve.
We will come together to promote our values of respect, equality and most importantly love, and we will continue to be the frontline in defense of those ideals.
We will look to enlightened leaders across this country who we know will put children and families at the forefront of every decision.
Now more than ever, we must double our resolve to bring people together and focus on building a future for all Americans where their dreams outweigh their fears and hope smothers anger and hate. We are stronger together and we will never give up on what we hold dear.