Knox students to honor Conn. school victims

Published 8:25pm Thursday, December 20, 2012

There are few, if any residents of our country who have not learned about and responded with a heartfelt wish to give comfort to the families of the students and teachers who are suffering their loss as a result of the Newtown, Conn. school massacre.

Selma is no exception. Friday, students at Knox Elementary and members of the Youth Ambassadors have planned a “Thinking of You” ceremony as an expression of sympathy for Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Knox principal Jay Pope and Ward 7 Selma City Councilwoman Benny Ruth Crenshaw helped organized the event.

The event will involving students — from pre-K through fifth grade — each wearing outfits of green and white, the school’s colors, and inflated balloons in matching colors, which will be released.

“I have been an educator for 16 years and what that school had to endure touched my heart as I thought of what it would mean at our own school,” Crenshaw said. “My devastating feelings about this tragedy motivated me to call Principal Poe to see what comforting or consoling message his school and the community could send to these families.

“My Christmas spirit has been dampened by this senseless act, knowing that while some are still planning Christmas for their children, these Newtown families are planning funerals. Let us pray for them.”

An educator for 16 years, Poe said the incident at Newtown “touched my heart, thinking of what the school had to ensure, and what it would mean if it happened at our own school. This ceremony is an expression of sympathy for Newtown and realization of what it would mean here.”

Teachers at Knox agree the ceremony is something that is needed for everyone involved.

“Words cannot express the sadness that I felt after hearing the news,” first grade teacher Sherry Baker said. “As a first grade teacher, this made me reflect on how it could have happened to my students. I am sure that I would have done like so many others, protected my students even if I had to put my life on the line. I believe that the children are the most precious gifts that God created.”

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