PHOENIX – Arizona residents should show empathy and kindness to help ease each other’s burdens in the face of the pandemic and other troubles, the state’s top education official said.

Economic and social hardships encounterd by many people in 2020 left them exhausted, isolated and frustrated, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman wrote in a commentary published Saturday by the Arizona Republic.

“Act as if the person you are speaking with just lost a job, a home, a loved one, a future. Act as if they are scared, or lonely, or tired to their bones,” Hoffman wrote.

In education, teachers faced challenges getting the internet to work for their students and their own children, while school board members were worn down by painful decisions

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