Dear EVCS Families,
I know many of you, like me, watched the footage of yesterday’s violent mob in our nation’s capitol in a state of shock and horror. Even considering all the ways in which our democratic ideals, values and institutions have been threatened and compromised over the last four years, this was truly a new low for our country. Most disturbing for me, like so many other people I know, was to witness the contrast in the way the police and law enforcement responded to and treated these violent insurrectionists and rioters as compared to peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters over the summer, and innocent, unarmed BIPOC every single day. I know that many of our students also witnessed these terrible scenes, and whether they are expressing it outwardly or not, they may be confused, scared and deeply upset by what they saw.
Whenever we experience some horrific or traumatic event in our society our school response has always been to think about how we might leverage this as a teachable moment for our students, but more importantly we recognize the need for all of our teachers and staff to be extremely sensitive to the fears, concerns and questions our students may bring to the classroom. Our most basic role as elementary school educators is to help our students make sense of the world – and yesterday’s events challenged most of the mental models we have for what makes sense in our society. I know that many of our students are going to come to school with questions, confusion, frustration and outrage in the coming days – in large part because of the blatant reminder that was on display yesterday, that we live in a country where people are treated profoundly differently – with the greatest of consequences – in large part because of their race and ethnicity. I am still processing what happened yesterday, and have not yet moved beyond my initial reaction of shock and sadness. But while we make sense of these events for ourselves, the teachers, staff and I will also make sure that we are there for our students. If they ask a question, make a comment, or open the door for processing together what happened in our capitol yesterday we will be responsive to them and allow space for this meaning making in our classrooms, and we will be extra sensitive and attuned to our students’ feelings and emotional wellness. Please reach out if your child seems distressed and you would like additional support. We’re here for you, too.
Our core values are kindness, inclusion, social action, self-awareness and joy of learning. They are always at or just below the surface of everything we do at EVCS, and right now is a great time to hold fast to them and remember what we are all about so we can rise up, learn from and move past this terrible moment in our country’s history together.