Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 33 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 2/4/15

Ms. Soto's First Grade Class

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   1 comment
Message Bob Griffiths
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)
Clipart - Cartoon Butterfly
Clipart - Cartoon Butterfly
(Image by
  Details   DMCA

For those that have not been in a First Grade classroom since they were children, it hasn't changed a great deal. There is a touch of new learning technology, but there is still an abundance of crayons and contagious laughter that can only come from a six year old child. The familiar childhood art is hung on the classroom walls, a myriad of birds, butterflies, snowflakes, trees, and a few self-portraits add color and life to an otherwise uninteresting wall. There is excitement in every corner at this time of year, after all Christmas is only a few days away and these babies still believe in Santa and reindeer sleds.

At the center of all this first grade activity was their teacher, Ms. Soto. Vicky Soto was only 27 years old, but she was everything a teacher should be and more. Elementary teachers belong to a unique club. They know when to smile, when to encourage, and even when to hug on occasion. I think they became teachers because they have the ability to look into the innocent eyes of a six year old and touch the future. Behind the eyes of these children is the artist, the writer, the doctor, or the teacher of the future and Ms. Soto understood that it was her calling in life to set that potential free. That's why people like Vicky Soto become teachers.

This day should have ended like most other days with small lunch boxes returned to backpacks for the trip home to Mommy and Daddy. But today, December 14, 2012, was to become a day like no other in the history of America. For on this day a "bad man" entered this place of innocence armed with an assault weapon. A weapon specifically designed and manufactured for combat.

After the gunman entered her classroom, Ms. Soto first tried to distract him, but when the children began to run that's when police say he opened fire with his assault weapon. Vicky Soto sacrificed her own body to shield her "babies" and for all time will be honored as a hero for giving her own young life.

It has been more than 2 years since this horrible day but yet nothing has changed. Someday, we may regret allowing deep divisions in our nation to block the passage of reasonable gun control legislation. Someday, we may be held accountable for doing nothing in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy.

If we actually do learn from history, then I quote a message from Elie Weisel on the topic of another holocaust when he said, "I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented". To forget a holocaust is to kill twice.

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   Touching 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Bob Griffiths Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Bob Griffiths has been a progressive writer and blogger for the last 15 years. He has contributed numerous Op-Ed Articles on the topics of education and politics. As a freelance writer he has contributed to Yahoo News, OEN, and local news (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

A New Game Plan for the Democratic Party

The New Lunatic Fringe

Trump and His Poorly Educated Now Rule America

Ms. Soto's First Grade Class

GOP Disregards the Lessons of History

The Rise and Fall of the Republican Party

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend