Children in a passing school bus acknowledge the teachers, staff and supporters at the Stand-Out near East Broadway Boulevard and North Euclid Avenue on April 25, 2018, Tucson, Ariz. Educators planned to line Broadway Boulevard from downtown to Houghton Road in advance of Thursday's state-wide walkout.

Kim Boling, the principal of Manzanita Elementary in the Catalina Foothills school district sent us this note about education and all the things that word encompasses for her and her school community.


One morning this week, a student asked me, "Why are all the teachers wearing red? I mean, I think I know…"

I replied, "What do you think?"

He responded, "RED FOR ED."

I nodded.

Another student, overhearing this exchange, quickly chimed in, inquiring with complete innocence and wonder, "Who’s Ed?"

This, like so many other moments throughout the day in our elementary school, brought a smile to my face.

Throughout the week though, with the teacher walkout and school closures looming ahead, his question wouldn’t leave my mind: Who is Ed?

"Ed" is the teacher who is able to light up your child’s face on a daily basis, who comes to school extra early in the morning and on the weekends to make sure that everything is prepared "just so" for the day or week ahead;

"Ed" is the classroom educational assistant who supervises kids as they eat and play, ensuring their safety, helping to resolve conflicts, sometimes wiping away tears;

"Ed" is our actual school building; a "home away from home" for our employees and students;

"Ed" is the health assistant who hands out Band-Aids for boo boos, crackers for upset tummies, and TLC for just about everything else;

"Ed" is the custodian who ensures that we have clean classrooms and workspaces, who unclogs toilets, and sets up and takes down tables and chairs for countless special events;

"Ed" is the office staff, who skillfully manage the fast-paced epicenter of our school community, always with smiles on their faces;

"Ed" is our counselor, who provides developmental guidance lessons to classes and critical support to students and families at their most fragile moments;

"Ed" is the special education teacher who customizes plans and instruction for students who learn or behave or communicate differently than their peers;

"Ed" is the bus driver who transports students safely to and from school every single day;

"Ed" is the inclusion educational assistant who supports students in being successful in the mainstream classroom.

Most importantly, "Ed" is every one of our children — as well as our children’s children — in our school district and across the state of Arizona; the very children who will grow up and contribute to making our communities and our world better places in which to live.

We stand together in support of public education.