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Posted March 26, 2013

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The Tree of Hope Blooms at LBJ Middle School

Azalea seemed to come back to life after Newtown tragedy.

An azalea seemingly came back to life in December, the week of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.

Note: This article was re-printed from the LBJ Howl, the school's newsletter.

Most people know that a mentally disturbed young man with a rifle shot and killed 26 people, including 20 kids, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on December 14, 2012.

What they may not be aware of is the tree of hope, an amazingly colorful azalea plant currently blooming in the south-facing windows of Room L-37 at LBJ Middle School.

“It looked like it was dead for a long time,” said veteran language arts teacher Linda Connors, who for generations has taught students how to read and write in Albuquerque. “Then, during the week of the Sandy Hook shootings, it just started blooming.”

Connors said her students started talking about it and taking pictures of it with their cell phones. They started calling it “the tree of hope.” It was decided that they would make a display in the hallway, complete with paper flowers and other artwork. You could say the idea just blossomed.

Some might say the plant had been dormant, and was just coming back to life. Some might say it’s a sign of an early spring. But some might say it’s something else.

“There’s so much negativity in the world,” Connors said. “And then there’s this.”

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