Great reminder: We are the world!

After yesterday’s s shooting in Ohio, I was immediately brought back to my early years of teaching in the 90’s when we spent more mornings with a moment of silence for a school shooting than I care to remember.  By 1999 and the massacre at Columbine High School, fear permeated through our schools, our hallways and our classrooms.  Fast forward to 2012 and I find myself professionally grounded in all things surrounded and related to digital citizenship.

Last night I kept waking up and I found myself singing We Are The World.  I began writing this post in my head.  Why does the color of our skin, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual identity and gender define us?  We all feel love, pain and loss no matter where we live, the language we speak or our family dynamics.  In our humanity we can find more things that make us the same than different.  Why don’t we recognize and celebrate this more?

Today I read this quote by Jodee Blanco and it says it all, “Bullying is about kids needing compassion and my perspective is the bully and the victim are the flipside of the same coin. They both need compassion.  Bullying isn’t just the mean things you do, it’s all the nice things you never do.”  The lyrics that played in my head all night support this:

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And its time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of Gods great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
Its true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

What are you going to do today to celebrate our humanity, model and teach empathy and make a difference to all the students that are in your classroom and your school?  Our world need us to make this a priority!



  • I remember being in college when Columbine happed. I remember how much it changed everything. It makes me sad that the students I teach don’t know a time when lock down drills weren’t standard operating procedure. A time when school doors were not locked, when everyone who came in was not greeted as a potential threat but as a guest, that school was the place you always knew you would be safe, etc. Maybe that was too naïve a time because as we learned that day very bad things can happen. Every time things like what happened here in Ohio occur it makes me think how many times will this happen, and when will this needless pain stop? How bad must it have been because the only solution a child had was bring a gun to school? To many students feel they have no power to change what is happening. When I teach the bully unit, even after I am done I feel as I have failed because I have students tell me but it still “doesn’t matter; bullying will still happen”. The lives of so many are now shattered and they won’t be the same because it forever changes you.

  • Thanks for your response! The “doesn’t matter” response is devastating! This is what we need to change! I’m focusing on creating positive school climate, modeling and teaching empathy everyday and engaging students in this critical conversation. Saw this today and thought we need more of it:;lst;2. Thank you for being part of the solution!

  • As I watched the video (that I fondly remember watching on its debut) I was struck by the diversity of talent it took to make that difference. And yet each performer’s passion was as clear as the next as they all worked towards and shared a common goal. Perhaps your passion and those of people like Jill, will one day have a similar effect that will bring our students closer together by embracing the differences and likenesses of our fellow humans.

    Thanks for sharing your post.

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