I write to speak from my heart as a parent, community member and as a candidate for the Salt Lake City School Board. Listening to a recent school board meeting online, my heart broke.

First, for our teachers, who we should thank for everything they have been doing to educate our children. I feel their pain, frustration and concerns, especially when what everyone wants to do is keep your families, our children and our community safe from this deadly virus that has infected and claimed the lives of so many Americans.

Every parent I talked with has the teachers’ backs and knows when you are teaching virtually you are not being lazy. Our teachers provide their skill online because they care so much about the safety of everyone at school and their families (including yours).

Second, for our new interim superintendent, who has shown leadership and focus on working together with school board members to come up with a reasonable school reopening plan that puts safety first.

Third, for my fellow parents, I feel your pain and confusion. I know for a fact that you and I just want the best education environment for our children.

All of this shall pass, and one day our children will remember the unity of our community that stood together to keep them and their teachers safe. Immediately reopening schools while cases of infections and death are still going up will only make the matter worse.

We must focus on safe reopening (think of “we,” not “me”) so it can be permanent. Our community does not need to take one step forward and two steps backward.

No task is impossible, regardless of how heartbroken or frustrated we all are. We must move forward holding both the science and compassion central to our decision making.

Mohamed Baayd, Salt Lake City