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Better days ahead

OPINION by Jim Davidson | September 11, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

You may have heard the old saying, "We may lose a few battles, but we are going to win the war." I believe this accurately describes where our country is just now.

Like millions and millions of Americans, I am terribly saddened when I learn about another tragic school shooting, like the one we just had down in Uvalde, Texas. Soon after each shooting the gun debate begins, but this time we may actually do something about the massive number of guns in our society. It looks like we may shore up the defenses of our schools to keep the nuts and bad guys out and this will help on the short term.

However, the problem is not guns. Older people can remember the days when guns and gunracks were in the parking lots of schools all across the country and no one ever shot up a school and killed innocent children. It just did not happen, ever. The problem is the minds and hearts of far too many of our citizens who do not have love and respect for our fellow man. This is the real battle and, with God's help, one I am determined to be a part of. I truly believe that in time my new book, "Your Future Begins Today," will help us win the war by being used as the foundation for a Character Education course taught in all of our schools.

Here is the reason for my optimism. Several years ago, I got to know a wonderful and very talented teacher in our community by the name of Kathi Sweere. At the time, back in 2003, she was teaching third grade at Ida Burns Elementary School. I was privileged to provide a classroom set of newspapers to her class as part of the Newspapers in Education program. NIE is a national program to use newspapers to teach current events and other subjects to children in lower grades. Now, 20 years later, Kathi has her doctorate and teaches seventh-grade science at Ruth Doyle Middle School. A while back I asked her to use my book to teach character values to her students, and she does this during recess when the weather is bad and her students can't go outside.

After several months, at my invitation, she has written a letter to all of our nation's Governors. In part here is what she said: "Innocent children are being murdered in our schools. A place that is supposed to be safe for them. As a teacher, my heart bleeds for the families of these precious children. I live daily with the thought of what I should do to protect those children under my care in case a tragedy occurs. Children need a haven where they are allowed to learn, to ask questions, to dream and to play. Character Education is needed now more than ever as children need to learn responsibility, empathy, and learn to respect each other as the unique individual each person is. Character Education, unfortunately, is not being taught in many homes."

This is only a small portion of her three-page letter, and she spells it out for our governors. I am truly blessed to know her because there are better days ahead.

Print Headline: Better days ahead

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