Some years ago, I became Twitter friends with retired principal Richard Lakin who used the handle @Thanks2Teachers. He had written a book, Teaching as an Act of Love, and though it was out in print, he was sharing an e-version for free with anyone who might want a copy. He was kind, friendly, supportive, and unrelentingly positive. A Jew, he moved to Israel to get involved with movements to bring peace to Israel and Palestinian children.
Two weeks ago, he was brutally attacked by a terrorist while driving a bus. Educators I knew from all over the country wrote to express their shock and sadness, to speak of his kindness, to offer their thoughts and prayers. Tragically, early this morning, having been sedated and unconscious the whole time, he died with his family by his side. His daughter wrote,
Dad’s basic views as expressed on his website were:
- every child is a miracle
- kindness and positivism are contagious
- empowerment frees people to realize their potential
- parenting and teaching are acts of love
- schools must be caring learning communities where pluralism and opportunities for choice abound.