A Principal, A Senator, And Two Stories of Second Chances

A Principal, A Senator, And Two Stories of Second Chances April 1, 2016

I’m esp struck by the role of Christian faith in both of these pieces.

Nancy Hanks, “A Principal Met a Student She Expelled, And It Changed Her Approach to Discipline”:

…I prayed for forgiveness for that time and any other time I betrayed the privilege given to me to be a steward and protector over the children I serve. For anytime I never just let my students just be kids. Goofy, carefree kids that make mistakes — sometimes big and sometimes small. For holding kids to standards that I don’t even hold myself to, quite honestly.

As I tried to pull it together, I could hear my grandmother’s voice saying: “Brand new mercies baby. We all get brand new mercies each day.”

So today I’m grateful. Grateful for the grace that someone extended to that young man when I myself couldn’t muster it up. And grateful that I’ve got a chance to get it right in my current role as the chief of schools in Madison, Wisconsin.

more–gentleness toward others makes it easier to admit our own complicities

Sen Alan K. Simpson (R-Wyo), “Allow Second Chance for Youthful Offenders”:

Most folks who know me are aware of the 18 years I spent as a United States Senator from Wyoming, during which time I served in leadership under a great man, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole.

But before I served our great nation, I was a juvenile offender who committed serious crimes, risking my own life and the lives of others. With minor changes in the facts of the crimes, I could have spent years – or perhaps my entire life – in the clink. Instead, as a result of God’s grace and with the help of others, I have been able to use my experiences to the benefit of my community and our nation. I am living proof that youth possess a unique capacity to grow and change. The child who seems hopeless today could go on to change the world.

more (via Walter Olson, and seriously, this is a slice of apple-pie Americana, genuinely moving.)


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