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HomeCommunityWhy We Love This Place Wednesdays: Lassen County's Educators

Why We Love This Place Wednesdays: Lassen County’s Educators

By Terra Avilla

I had planned to write about teachers and school staff later in the year, possibly coordinating it with ‘Teacher Appreciation Week’ in the spring, yet after last week’s county wide school lock-downs, I was compelled to write about them now.

Teachers, free staff, custodians, security-all of you. I see you and I thank you.

I am certain when the teachers of Lassen County went to college they imagined spending their careers doing lesson plans, field trips, helping their students achieve their scholastic potential. I am sure they didn’t imagine a career in which they would be asked to be locked in a classroom in charge of the safety of their pupils, having to remain calm when there is potential chaos outside of their buildings.

I would say it’s a safe bet, they never imagined they would be given the responsibility of being their students’ main lifeline.

Yet here we are. Our teachers are forced to balance their daily 504 meetings, ordered to stay current on IEPs, and now they must be ready to protect their students at a moment’s notice. Luckily for us, our Lassen County Educators are doing it and they are doing it well.

I want you to know that I am writing this as a fellow parent, not as a police officer when I say, “thank you.” Thank you, teachers, staff and administration for coming to work every day to do an already pretty thankless job. I see you and I appreciate you.

I could write pages upon pages detailing the amount of extra work they do on a ‘normal day.’ They come in early, leave late, miss their own child’s parent teacher conference because at the exact same time they are hosting their own, etc. They are all pretty remarkable and selfless people. Sometimes as parents we lose sight of that.

During last Thursday’s incident, I cannot tell you how impressed I was, not only with Lassen High School’s staff but with all of our county’s educators. Working as a team. Working together. Doing what needed to be done to ensure the safety of our children.

Unlike law enforcement, educators are only given partial information, yet are tasked with informing staff, students and communicating with other school districts. Bill McCabe, Patty Gunderson, Jason Waddell, I see you and I thank you.

Throughout last week’s lock-down I checked on several teachers and was in awe of the amount of professionalism I witnessed. Here they were – locked in their classrooms doing their absolute best to keep student’s calm, improvising lessons, games, anything to help their students distracted.

Several teachers asked what they could to do help. Many were ready to fight… yes, I said fight. Fight any sort of threat that dared to enter their classroom and harm your children. They have no guns. No formal training, but they are willing to do whatever they can to keep their students safe. Their students – your babies. I see you and I thank you.

“We are good in here,” LHS teacher, Kerissa Schall, said as I checked on her classroom. I was about to leave when she stopped me.

“Terra, I’m just kind of worried about my little one.” My heart sinks. I can tell in her voice she is concerned. I forgot she has a ‘little guy’ at another school.

“There are police at every school,” I assure her. She nods and appears relieved as she goes back into her classroom.

Staff are told very little and almost all of them are parents. I appreciated her in that moment even more. I appreciate all of the staff that have children on other sites. They are commanded to be calm, protecting other people’s babies, not knowing what is going on with her own.

I also know without a doubt that whatever teacher is with her son, that person is doing an excellent job keeping him calm and safe. I don’t have to know which teacher at McKinley School to know they are doing an excellent job. I see you and I thank you.

I am saddened that lock-down drills and lock-downs are necessary for schools to train and implement. Hopefully one day, that will not be the case. However, our educators in this county take the safety of their students seriously. Their students. Our children. You all are priceless instrumental pieces in educating and protecting our children. For that I see you and I thank you. All of you.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso
SusanvilleStuff.com Publisher/Editor
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