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Western New York educators react to 'Love Them First' documentary

'Love Them First' is a documentary showcasing a principal in Minneapolis fighting labels that impact students and communities.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A dynamic elementary school principal in Minneapolis was determined to find a way to make a difference at Lucy Laney Elementary. In the feature-length documentary "Love Them First" our sister station KARE got unprecedented access to follow Principal Mauri Friestleben for one year.

"They are children, they're pure, and imagine if we as a society loved them first in that  moment," the principal said.

2 On Your Side had a group of educators watch and then discuss the film and what they are doing in Buffalo and Niagara Falls schools.

"It's our job as leaders and educators to tell kids that you're special you are important," Dr. Marck Abraham said.

Claudine Ewing and Pete Gallivan recently interviewed principals Dr. Marck Abraham, McKinley High School; Serena Restivo, School 37 and Terrence Heard, Buffalo School Board, about this.

They also talked with Mark Laurrie, the Niagara Falls Schools Superintendent, and Casandra Wright, Buffalo Schools Associate Superintendent for Leadership.

Credit: WGRZ-TV

"Loving does not mean you don't have your high expectations for your children," Restivo said.

"It becomes incumbent upon us as leaders to have that courage and stamina to keep going in the right direction," Laurrie said.

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