We Americans have become far too accustomed to mass murder. That does not make the
tragedy in Orlando
on Saturday night any less horrifying or easier to comprehend.
It goes without saying that our country has a long way to go. We have to find better ways of responding to gun violence, mental illness, terrorism, and bigotry. One way or another, the way to do this is through communication, and the best hope for the future rests with today's young people. If these tragedies become less frequent and better understood it will be because our students have become better at asking and answering the right questions than we are and our parents were.
Because I am a teacher, I began processing Orlando's unspeakable events on Sunday morning by thinking about how I would talk about them with my students on Monday. Then I remembered that school is out and I would not be with students on Monday. Then I worried about whether the students most in need of someone to talk to would have someone. I sure hope so.
Then I thought about Milton Education Association President Michael Dorn. Michael's daughter Maria took her own life in the midst of her battle with an eating disorder. Michael and his wife Alita are courageous individuals who believe in helping people more than they care about protecting themselves. They have gone public with their family's story because they think talking openly about their struggles could help other families.
This commitment to advocacy over self-interest is what makes Michael a great union leader. I am proud to know him, and we are lucky to have him in our union and our profession. I urge you to read more about Michael and his family in this newsletter and through the links to articles in the
Janesville Gazette and WEAC.org.
I invite you to join all of the conversations we are participating in and trying to initiate at WEAC Region 6. Of all the things the union does, creating and sustaining dialogues is almost certainly the most important. You can start talking today by reaching out to your local leaders or contacting the Region 6 office. You can email me at
or call the office at 1-800-397-2287. We are here now and we are not going anywhere. You don't have to wait until the start of the next school year to tell us what is on your mind and ask how the union can help.
President of WEAC Region 6