A Poem by James Kavanaugh
There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who prey upon them with IBM eyes
And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon.
There are men too gentle for a savage world
Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween
And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who anoint them for burial with greedy claws
And murder then for a merchant's profit and gain.
There are men too gentle for a corporate world
Who dream instead of candied apples and ferris wheels
And pause to hear the distant whistle of a train.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves.
Who devour them with eager appetite and search
For other men to prey upon and suck their childhood dry.
There are men too gentle for an accountant's world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And search for beauty in the mystery of the sky.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who toss them like a lost and wounded dove.
Such gentle men are lonely in a merchant's world.
Unless they have a gentle one to love.

Ponder this. We are the people who have turned children's lives around. We are the people who parents have loved and supported because we are amazingly patient, extremely insightful, and deeply caring about your children. We are the people who receive letters from former students telling us how they couldn't have made it without us. We are the crutches provided by a higher power to help guide children whose paths are strewn with obstacles whether they be individual or societal. We are colorblind - we want every child to succeed. We are noncompetitive - we dedicate our lives to others, receiving meager salaries for the most part. We are made of something that may be different from you, so you have to work to understand us. Could you spend hours with children day after day, open to their needs, still able to give after being challenged, frustrated, even abused by their indifference to learning and by others? How many of you utter "Thank God for teachers. I couldn't tolerate those kids?" We are different. We can.

These qualities that make us excellent teachers, also make us more vulnerable. God gave us these gifts so we could make this a better world, not so administrators bully us and make us sick. Something is so demented about a culture whereby the very people who were put on this earth to protect your children, are being targeted and destroyed by aspects of a system that are power hungry, jealous or just plain evil. Many of our administrators today are the merchants. "We are too gentle to live among the wolves."

Why are you allowing this educational culture to destroy us? We think it is because you do not know what is going on and we intend to change that. We also think you don't understand us because we are different. No matter how difficult it is for you to fathom our natures that have made us targets of opportunistic administrations for not submitting to directives that hurt our students, you have to agree that we have a right to exist in a healthy psychological state and not be terrorized. No matter what our alleged offenses might have been, it is impossible to accept that we should have had to endure the harassment described throughout this site, particularly after we devoted our lives to children. Beyond that, as you allow the administrators to destroy and rid themselves of us, you are giving away God's gift to your children. If for no other reason, schools should be forced to have a team that is big enough for people who think critically and live thoughtfully so your children will have the teachers they need. We are not people who can operate like Stepford Wives, nor are we robots. We need to live in our integrity.

Maybe your child is a survivor and didn't need an understanding teacher to help rescue him from his despair. But your child will live in a world amongst those lost souls who had no one to help them find their happy selves and have thus turned to darkness and drugs, in a world much less than it could have been if the teachers had not been banished from their world.

We are not doing this out of revenge; we are just trying to get our lives back and create a place for teachers like us in education. Granted, some of us are overly sensitive. Some have become disabled from the abuse. The degree to which we are sensitive represents our ability to give to others. It is a crime to dispose of the advocates for your children because we are HIGHLY SENSITIVE PEOPLE.

School Boards are permitting this. You elected these Boards. The power and responsibility for correcting this wrong is in your hands.

To our colleagues who believe that like you, we should have just submitted to the administration, right or wrong, and thus we got what we deserve, we wonder if you are as insensitive with your students as you have been with us? If you cannot understand differences in people's natures, you probably do not understand your students' needs either. It is not in our natures to lie, manipulate, or abuse our fellow man even if that means the loss of our means of survival. Our need to live in harmony with our souls is stronger than our fear of punishment. We would like to think that most of you followed orders or capitulated to unethical deeds out of fear, rather than agreement. We would also like to think that you know that insensitivity to differences is harmful to children. Some children are more gentle too, and need teachers that understand this. As you sacrifice your standards to fit in, you harm your students either by the way you treat them, or as you model that you believe it is okay to turn on colleagues to keep a job. They know who the caring teachers are, and they learn from your actions. You may see us as troublemakers, but we see you as the force that has turned parents against teachers. We are there to serve children, not selfish administrators. Schools are public communities, not private fiefdoms. It is time to come together in understanding about why we are divided. It is time we learn to respect differences, rather than objectify people. We don't believe many people entered this low paying profession as opportunists. We realize everyone reacts differently to fear, but it is time to be proactive, not reactive, and find the courage to follow the hearts that led us to teaching in the first place. Based on the condition of our schools, you really do not have a choice - for long. Whereas it used to safe to sell out and do whatever you had to do to keep your job, NAPTA intends to change that as we level the playing field. You will have to choose between two forces now, good or evil, not just one overpowering evil force. Our voices will be heard, finally.