Yesterday was a tough day for the Wilton community. Shocking headlines and a news story we hated to report but we felt the news warranted telling. A Wilton teacher was arrested for allegedly having an inappropriate sexual encounter with a 14-year-old child from Trumbull.

We tried to handle it as responsibly and as best as we could. We reported the facts based on talking to the arresting police department in Trumbull. We got a response from the Wilton Public School District. We tried to offer some professional guidance for how parents could talk to their children–especially those students who know the teacher in question–about what happened.

We know how difficult it was to process the news–GOOD Morning Wilton is written by people who live in Wilton, with children in the schools. I have a child who is a student at Middlebrook. We had to have the tough conversation with him when he got home yesterday afternoon.

But one of the things that I held onto as I tried to process everything was something else that happened in a Wilton school yesterday, something to hopefully offer an example of what we see when we find a teacher who guards the trust we place in them to care for our children responsibly and nobly.

My youngest child is a student at Cider Mill, and in honor of Valentine’s Day, her teacher gave her and her classmates an incredible opportunity. Last week, she had asked the students to write specific, original compliments about each student in the class, as a homework assignment. The teacher collected them and then assembled all the anonymous compliments for each child on a sheet and laminated it.

Today, she gave each child his or her compliment sheet at the class Valentine’s party. What an uplifting, confidence-building gift! As you read the lovely things my daughter’s classmates told her they think of her (below), hold on to the fact that each child walked out of that classroom today a stronger person, thanks to this teacher’s idea. How amazing is that for a child to have and to treasure forever? How incredible is it for us as parents to hold on to as the ideal way a teacher should impact a child’s life? It gave me joy and hope.

I wanted to share it with you–not under the foolish idea that it would erase any of the awfulness we’ve uncovered, or even to help us make sense of it. But hopefully it can offer something completely opposite as a counterbalance to the hurt, sadness and anger brought on by yesterday’s awful news, and can remind us of the GOOD that still exists here for us and for our children.