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May 3, 2019

posted May 6, 2019, 9:41 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to May!  Although the weather doesn’t reflect springtime, the calendar tells us it’s that time of year. My father ended his teaching career in the classroom teaching middle school history.  He loved teaching and sharing information and events from the past to his students.  From those experiences he wanted them to learn, question, ponder and build humanity to become responsible and compassionate citizens. 

Barack Obama’s Instagram from yesterday would be an example of something my dad would take into his classroom and lead a discussion around with his students. So I thought I would continue to “carry his torch” and pass it along in my newsletter.

Yesterday (May 2nd) is Holocaust Remembrance Day.  It’s easy, on a day like this, to reflect at something of a distance. The photos are grainy now, dusty artifacts from another era. It was a different world then, we can tell ourselves—another place, another time. 

Fully grappling with the reality of the Holocaust, though, isn’t so simple. Because before the camps and the brown shirts, before the consolidation of political power, before millions of lives were extinguished, there were simply people, not altogether different from any of us, who chose to see their neighbors as different, as other, as something less. 

It’s a sadly familiar choice, one that we’ve seen generation after generation.  And today, in our world of encroaching division and calcifying bubbles, we’ve seen once again the swiftness with which that choice—that failure to recognize ourselves in one another—can accelerate into violence. 

So it’s up to us to make a different choice—to choose empathy over apathy; to sow seeds of hope rather than hate; to embrace our shared humanity, no matter how we worship, what we look like, who we love, or where our families came from. 
That’s how we can not only pause to remember a tragedy once a year but act on the lessons we’ve learned from it every day.

George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Let it be our work to make sure that events such as the Holocaust and other acts of violence do not happen during our existence.

On another note, I went to see Mrs. Plante-Renaud this week.  She wanted to let everyone know that she misses her students and school communities.  Her broken bone and ligaments are healing, but slower than expected.  Although she will not be back this year, she wanted me to communicate that she will be returning next year!  

Have a great weekend.  Maybe the sun will come out!