Back to School

Teachers and students have embarked (or soon will) on this strangest of school years. I believe our schools are doing their best to balance the needs of the students, the school staff, and the community.

Still, given that in most communities we’re not even close to having the kind of systems and protocols in place that would lead to success, it’s no wonder that teachers, students, and parents feel some trepidation.

I know that teachers will step up, as they always do. I’ve said before, being a high school teacher was the hardest work I’ve ever done – but also the most rewarding. Currently I work with in-service teachers and know that these folks truly care about educating our young people. Our teachers are amazing, and I wish them all the best this year.

Our students will also be making sacrifices, both big and small. I hope they all stay safe and healthy and are able to experience some sense of normalcy.

But I’ve been troubled by reactions when teachers raise questions about the safety of returning to in-person instruction, particularly in schools where lack of resources makes it tough to follow guidelines for doing so safely. A common refrain is “kick the bums out and we’ll replace them with eager young teachers who want to be there.”

The only problem is, our teachers have been disrespected for so long that there is no glut of professionals waiting to replace them. In fact, there’s a teacher shortage, and if our current educators leave (or become incapacitated due to illness) that will become even worse. The coronavirus pandemic has only added to these issues.

So teachers, students, and fellow parents – I wish us all the best. We’ll need it. And in the meantime, let’s work as a community to make things safer, not just for schools but also for grocery store workers, healthcare providers, convenience store clerks, and everyone who’s working with the public to keep our lives as close to normal as they can. We’re all in this together.

Thank you!

I had to bring the whole team in to help write thank you cards to the hundreds of people who have donated to my campaign so far.

Duvall for 102 campaign advisors

Family is important to me and it’s part of the reason I’m running for office. I am by no means perfect, but I strive to be an example to my kids of how we should behave in the world.

That starts with treating people with kindness, seeking to understand others’ perspectives, and making charitable assumptions about their motivations. At the end of the day, we all share our humanity.

Because we’re all human, we’re not going to be perfect, and we won’t always agree. But as Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Thanks for reading this! The biggest help you can give my campaign is to share this post widely within your social networks. I am dedicated to creating a grassroots movement to represent the constituents of the 102nd district, but to do so, I need your help in getting the message out.

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