Dear Editor & Evergreen Park,
With it seeming that school will open Monday in Evergreen Park, the question is what do we fear now? Do professionals and paraprofessionals fear going back into buildings with administrators who are angry with them? Do they fear the human punishment of changed relationship? Do administrators fear that classrooms discussions will cloud how they are seen? How do parent's feel post-strike and what lingering anger is in the community? Does the school board feel tense about the first meeting post-strike?
Now is the time for us to fight the human tendency to punish. We have to push ourselves beyond our instinctual feelings into actions that will make us proud of community. We need the people inside the school to deal with their feelings affectively and outside the school. If you are angry with the union, school board, parents, administrators you need to be proactive and face it outside the buildings. Inside the buildings all should be unified in the common goal of growing children in knowledge.
My traditions of coping are the teachings of Jesus Christ. What are yours? Whatever they are, embrace them post-strike in the process of healing.
I call for the following:
- For the School Board to allow the staff to make up the days lost in unity with their kids. Healing takes a community that works beyond punishment and personal feelings of retribution and does what is best for the children. What is best for the children is to be with their own teachers with whom they will have built relationship in learning.
- For building administrators to meet the return of their employees return with openness for the future and not pain of the past weeks.
- I call for the teachers and staff of 124 to heal in healthy ways from the hurt of the strike. To take steps to make sure the feelings of strike do not follow you into the building.
- I call for the community of Evergreen Park to ask, what is needed now to heal. What concrete steps can we take to hold each other to a goal of healing and educating?
The real work begins now. The strike could be over or it could follow us into the rest of the year and even beyond. I truly believe that God cares about how we human beings treat each other in our daily lives. God cares how we as a community act and heal post strike. Let us put effort and care into doing what is right and just and then we can be proud of how we faced this challenge.
Rev. Yvette Marie Eber, Pastor
Immanuel United Church of Christ
Evergreen Park, IL