Fostering Community and Preparing Our Future Leaders

School communities across the United States have been rocked hard by the events in Parkland, Florida, and understandably so. Regardless of your political convictions, the loss of life in that fashion is hard to fathom and understand.

And while that tragedy is still fresh in our minds, there has been something positive that has come from it: a sense of community and a rallying of people around a common issue. We see it time and time again. When tragedy strikes, there is an outpouring of love and support from communities near and far. Ultimately, someone will lead those who are grieving or having difficult times. Television personality Mr. Rogers summed it up this way: “When I was a boy, and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

What it boils down to is community. At Fairmont, we are a community — or, as our headmaster likes to remind us — a family of educators and students. We are here with a common goal to educate students and, ultimately, send them out into the world with the skills needed to be successful people. We celebrate one another’s accomplishments and take time to comfort those who may need to be picked up.

As we deal with teenagers and younger children, we need to set the example of how people can and should be treated. What events like Parkland have shown us is that the next generation of leaders is ready. The students in high school today are ready to take a stand for the things they believe in. They know how to organize people quickly and use the best of their time in front of others.

History has shown us that some of the biggest changes in society have come from those who have yet to hit 40 years old. There is vision in youth — they often see a future that others have trouble seeing. Will those who are older be able to have the vision themselves to see change when it occurs?

As a school community, encouraging students to find their voices and perspectives is important. The future leaders of the world roam our hallways. Hopefully we can take a moment to step back and help them realize their potentials.

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