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Challenge: Back to School 2020

The most essential weapon we have is community

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People are mad.

And people are speaking up.

Lots of individuals want brick and mortar schools to open.

Lots of individuals want brick and mortar schools to stay closed.

I just want everybody to stop yelling at each other.

To stop fighting.

To stop judging.

To stop ending friendships because they disagree on how to handle an unforeseen global pandemic.

I'm watching Hillsborough County Public Schools’ School Board meeting,

and a woman I know,

a friend,

a fellow mother to public school-attending children,

just spoke to the Board about her opinion that school campuses should open.

I don't agree with her.

But do you know what?

I don't have to.

I don't have to hold the same opinion as anyone right now.

But, I do have to respect everyone's.

She nailed her one minute comment.

She was poised,

spoke eloquently,

had an important message that reached me and pulled at my (and probably many others’) heartstrings,

And, her comment, it really made me think.

It didn't change my mind.

But it didn't have to.

My opinion isn't the 'wrong' one, and neither is hers.

Neither is his, and neither is yours.

Because when a global health emergency invades and refuses to leave,

the most essential weapon we have to fight it,

IS community.

And our community is made up of

children and adults,

students and educators,

those with regular needs,

those with special needs,

those who are healthy,

those who have underlying health conditions,

those who are young,

and those who are old,

parents who need to work,

and parents who work in hospitals who are seeing the tragic effects of COVID-19 firsthand.

Don't piss the people off in your community by scolding them for taking a stance when one has been demanded of them and the rest of us.

Just be kind.

Listen to one another.

Show respect.

Show grace.

And, if you can’t do any of that, just be quiet.

And then pray,

every freakin' night,

that we all wake up tomorrow

more sensible,



and innovative humans.

I sure do.

We can get through this.

We can make this work for all.

We just have to get creative.

And we need to stop allowing lack of funding to be the reason we can’t -- here in Florida, and everywhere.

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