To the person who shot the bear or bears: I hope I wasn’t your kindergarten teacher. Because if I was, I have failed.

I didn’t teach you to think. You obviously can’t count. By senselessly shooting one mother bear, you have also probably killed two little cubs because they have no mother to raise and protect them. I did not teach you to appreciate and take care of all living things, no matter how large or small. Remember the golden rule we first learned about? Perhaps you would have better understood if someone had shot your mother and you had to survive without her.

I will continue to advocate for thinking, kindness, compassion, and love for all living creatures with the five and six-year-olds who come through my classroom door. But it also takes a village to raise a child.

Sandra June-Degen

Kindergarten teacher