The Sun displays good solid sense: Congratulations to the Baltimore Sun for its editorial today about Newtown—about the public servants who have been so relentlessly slandered in the past dozen years.
As we start, we’ll include the Sun’s brace of headline:
BALTIMORE SUN EDITORIAL (12/19/12): The heroes of Newtown:In a slightly saner world, educators would not be required to lay down their lives for their students. But the sliming of teachers has been a disgrace, whether practiced by the billionaires and their handmaidens or by the likes of Gail Collins.
Our view: The strength and courage of teachers and school staff—the kind of public employees so often scorned of late—are the revelation of Sandy Hook
As the nation continues this week to deal with the grief and heartache left behind by the murder of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, let there also be a moment set aside for exultation. Let a banner be raised for the heroes of Newtown, Conn.: the educators who sprang into action to protect the young students in their charge.
We don't know how many lives were saved by the alert and brave actions of the faculty and staff at Sandy Hook, but we suspect they were many. Yet how many among us should stand ashamed today for showing so little respect for such public employees—mocking teachers, in particular, for their cost to taxpayers in salary and benefits—and failing to appreciate how willingly many educators stand prepared to lay down their lives for our children?
The Sun continues:
BALTIMORE SUN EDITORIAL (continuing directly): Rarely are teachers given the kind of respect afforded soldiers, firefighters or police officers, but how else to describe Principal Dawn Hochsprung but as a first responder? We now know that it was she, school psychologist Mary Sherlach and Vice Principal Natalie Hammond who first confronted the heavily armed Adam Lanza in the hallway. Only Ms. Hammond survived that initial effort to subdue the intruder.Just last year, American fourth graders kicked the keisters of most of the world on a major international reading test. Those test scores were released last week, but we find no sign that the Baltimore Sun reported this news to its readers.
Four other employees, all teachers, died in the shooting. Anne Marie Murphy, a special education teacher, was killed attempting to literally shield her students with her body.
Meanwhile, stories continue to emerge from Sandy Hook of teachers who helped lead their students to safety, who hid them away and remained level-headed despite the threat, who calmly instructed them to be brave, who stood ready to defend them until they were certain the knocking on their locked doors came from police and not the perpetrator.
How many among us are certain we would behave so bravely in a similar situation? The military train for that kind of sacrifice, but the faculty and staff of Sandy Hook had no such preparation. What code of conduct informed their choices?
This omission is ironic, given the striking degree of good sense displayed in the rest of the Sun's editorial:
BALTIMORE SUN EDITORIAL: It is common these days to bemoan the state of public education and question whether the next generation will be able to compete in the global economy. Among the concerns are wide disparities in educational outcomes based on wealth, race and class; high dropout rates; and low science and math achievement compared to other industrial countries. Meanwhile, the economic downturn and the strain it has put on the financing of government, including public education, have made educators easy targets for scorn.The sliming of our public school teachers has been an ongoing disgrace. We’ve seen it enabled by Charlie Rose. We’ve seen it advanced by Collins. As this propaganda campaign has rolled on, the liberal world has shown remarkably little interest in public school teachers or children.
Next time we discuss the state of education, let us also recall those images of teachers leading children out of harm's way in Newtown or those half-dozen adults who died in the line of duty. Public educators deserve our respect, not just for what happened in Sandy Hook but for their extraordinary, daily devotion to the education, health and welfare of the next generation.
How ratty do those Sandy Hook teachers look in the wake of their actions last week? Tomorrow, we’ll show you how Connecticut students performed on last year’s TIMSS math tests.
It’s rare to see an editorial which evinces so much sound human sense. Someone at the Sun is still in touch with the world. Within the modern mainstream press corps, that’s a rare occurrence.