A Letter to the Editor
We, the people…
Raleigh, NC, (January 15, 2021) — As president of NCPTA, I reach out to our members and our state with sadness for our country, yet with much hope for this experiment of a democracy to grow into its greatness.
It has been 10 months since our nation was first diagnosed with Covid-19, 5 months since the suffocation of George Floyd, 2 months since the election of a new president, and 1 week since the darkest day in American history. Together, we watched as our capital was overrun by other American citizens. America is hurting.
Economic insecurities, racial and social injustices have left us questioning the truth. Every day we trust less and less, wrestling with this experiment of a democracy. We, the people have been struggling since the conception of our democracy. We entered 2021 with great expectations for a new beginning. But beginnings only start with the end of something else. Are we doing this for our children and are we remembering that our children are watching?
We, as a nation and as a community of people, are deciding the next step for us. What are our values? But also, how will we fight for those ideals? Through words or with civil unrest? If we lead with civil unrest what is next for our children if this is the new normal?
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States and WWII military hero states, “We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom.”
Martin Luther King states, “Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all…Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.
Every great leader, theologian, and brilliant mind are clear that violence creates only destruction. We must remember that our democracy was created so that each citizen has one vote in participating in deciding our laws and our leaders. We have a process for dispute and a place to make change – our judicial and legislative branch. If civil unrest becomes the means for decision making, how large will the bully become each and every time there is a dispute?
“Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment, it is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos”, a quote from George W. Bush at his inauguration. What is left for our children if we choose differently? What is the alternative to our democracy? And what is left for our children?
We have heard many times, it darkest before the dawn. Let this darkness take us to a new beginning of living in a just society where each woman and man is judged on their character, where every woman and man can reach their dream and potential, and our children are loved, are fed and safe.
President, North Carolina Parent Teacher Association
Mari Urness Pokornowski
Executive Director, NCPTA
North Carolina PTA is the state’s oldest and largest volunteer organization advocating for every child to reach their full potential. Founded in 1919 and affiliated with National PTA, there are more than 920 Parent Teacher Associations in schools across the state with more than 106,000 members. PTAs provide advocacy, vital volunteers, and material resources to their schools. NCPTA supports PTA units and provides programs, training, and advocacy on behalf of North Carolina’s children. To learn more about NCPTA, please visit our website at www.ncpta.org.