Happy New Year EMS Families!
In reflecting on our year to date, the rest of the year and how we will continue to achieve the goals we established at the beginning of our school year I feel compelled to share a very difficult situation that occurred in our community before break that affirms why we chose one of our school wide goals this year to focus on students feeling safe, heard, seen, understood and respected.
In December, several racially and culturally hateful letters were written and delivered from one EMS student to another. One letter specifically referenced the power one child perceives she has based on her race. This clearly reflects a racist mindset that we need to address as a larger community.
In reading this, it could be easy to think that this is a stand-alone incident; however, I want to challenge all of us to recognize that this is really indicative of the larger challenge we face as a city, state, country, and world.
In collaboration with the Director of Inclusivity and Safe Schools, we have worked with all students and families involved and will continue to address this situation and the necessary repair using a Restorative approach.
Personally, I have gone back and forth between feeling overwhelmed and saddened to angered and shocked. At times, these emotions have left me feeling helpless and lost as to how to rectify such a blatant disregard for compassion and empathy.
After much reflection, I chose to acknowledge and name this event, recognizing that silence will only perpetuate this reality.
I am reminded that our response and reaction to such matters is the only thing we can control and choose. I ask for your partnership in this endeavor as we learn to cultivate compassion and make our school a safer and more open-minded community.
This year we have begun to educate ourselves with the support of a consultant, ongoing professional development, and open and honest dialogue around race and racism. We will continue with increased opportunities for student voice to be heard and stories shared.
Please consider coming to our next PTO meeting to continue this conversation and consider our actions as a community.
With gratitude and in partnership,