“Hug a teacher today,” implores a spray-painted sign outside a building in Newton, Conn. The heroic actions taken by teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School to protect students when Adam Lanza came shooting down their halls has inspired a new appreciation for the people in whose hands parents put their children’s lives every day. In recent years federal and state attempts at education reform have cast a negative light on teachers—scrutinizing their tenure, basing their performances on students’ standardized-test scores, and increasing their responsibilities without increasing their—often very minimal—pay. Many hope that, after seeing the lengths teachers are willing to go to to protect their students, America will adjust its attitude toward educators.
RESPECT Julio Cortez / AP