There were some amazing stories of human courage and compassion that came out of the horrors in Newtown, Connecticut. Teacher Vicki Soto gave her precious young life to protect her tiny first graders. Shielding them from harm was her first instinct and her last act. In the face of terror unimaginable, her instinct to protect the defenseless students who depended on her for their safety and well-being did not fail.
If you think about it, she did this very thing each and every day. She went to that school and protected those children from the meanness of life as she spoke to them, Iím sure, in gentle teacher tones about being nice to one another, sharing, how to treat others who were different than them. She made choices daily about what language and tone to use in front of children, what attitudes to take and what clothes to wear. I didnít know this amazing teacher, but in reading about her and knowing the calling she followed with her life, I can say with confidence that she spent the five years of her all-too-short career protecting little ones from harm on a daily basis.
Vicki Soto was a workaday patriot, with no medals and no parades. A sacrificial footsoldier of nurturing who fought on Americaís front lines of care and compassion, two traits that are terribly lacking in our nation right now. Even as her career changed and faraway deciders made it more and more about competition, she retained her hold on nurturing. Thank goodness, because American children need that more than anything.
In another room in that building, fellow first grade teacher Kaitlin Roig locked her little ones in a bathroom and pulled a bookshelf in front of the door. ...