“Do No Harm”

March 6, 2024 | Sharon Sedlar

The Latin phrase primum non nocere means “first, do no harm.” And while most known as part of the Hippocratic Oath taken by medical students, it is not just for an occupation – it’s a good way to live.

In the K-12 education space, it means that, at the very least, we should not take actions that harm our children or their resources.  Now that does not mean a blank check, nor does it mean a lack of accountability. But in the education space, and in most basic terms, do no harm to children

In the fight to be “right” or maintain power, many have forgotten that children are the ones suffering because of gridlock, fighting, and refusal to advance policies that can help children. Like what, you might ask? A few examples:

Level Up funding
Educational Improvement or Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credits
Lifeline/PASS Scholarships
Education Scholarship Accounts
Free school lunch programs
Capitol Improvement Programs (PlanCon)

No one professing to be an advocate for children, or their education, should be seeking the destruction of programming that helps a child – whether it’s helping 1 or 1,000.

So the next time you hear someone talking about policy, programming, budget, etc. that affects children in education, set everything else aside, and ask yourself this basic question: “Does this do harm to a child?”

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