Dear Triton Community,
As a district, we have always sought to celebrate diversity in our community and our student body. We are committed to remaining a place where students, staff, and families feel supported and treated with respect, grace, encouragement, and appreciation.
During the last few months, our students and families have experienced anxiety and confusion around the pandemic and the ways it would impact all our lives. These feelings have been further compounded by the most recent protests happening across our country, speaking out against the killing of George Floyd, the latest example of centuries of racially-motivated abuse, assaults, and the killing of black women and men. It is a pain that many of us can never truly understand, but we must be committed to living in ways that ensure that we as a district and community are contributing to productive dialogue, experiences, and solutions. Part of that process is learning by listening, and then, when we are prone to speak, choosing to listen even more to those whose experiences differ from our own. It is vital that we all do our part in the hard work of developing a more thorough understanding of the challenges they face. Collectively, we can and must be better.
These most recent tragedies have sparked a nationwide response, and at the core of the anger, fear, and the tumult is a cry for understanding, dialogue, and change. If we are willing to have difficult conversations to fully understand the past that has led us to where we are today and the roles we have played, then we can be part of the solution.
Never forget the eyes that are watching all of us right now. Our children and teens are listening, watching and searching for helpful ways to understand what is occurring, and are keenly on the lookout for those who are peacemakers, leaders, and champions of a world where racism does not exist. We as adults, educators, parents, and guardians, need to have age-appropriate discussions with our students about the issue of systemic racism, and the hurt it continues to cause. Ultimately, we want our entire community to have an appreciation for and conviction in our core values:
- Respect for Self and Others,
- Integrity in Words and Actions, and
- Excellence for All
I challenge everyone among us to keep these, our ideals, in the forefront of your mind as a lens through which we might view and understand the events occurring in our country. These deeply-rooted challenges will not be fully solved in weeks, months, or even years, but it is incumbent upon all of us as individuals, and as a community, to do our part to work toward change and improvement each and every day. Below you will find links to various collections of resources that you may find helpful as you have these difficult conversations in our classrooms and in our homes.
We promise to do our part as educators and role models to ensure that our students are not only well-versed in our responsibilities as U.S. citizens but also equipped to help create a world where racism and prejudice no longer exist. The preparation for sending contributing citizens into the world begins at home, but you have our pledge that we will do our best to educate our students in an environment that fosters respect and integrity, where each student can explore and learn how they can be productive agents-of-change in a world that desperately needs them.
“Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world.” Bell Hooks, Killing Rage
- Parents – Anti-Racism for Kids – Guide by Age Group
- Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race
- 31 Children’s Books – Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance
- Carolyn Bloomberg-O’Brien Padlet – Resource Collection
- Author Jason Reynolds – Racism and the Protests
- Emmanual Acho – Let Your Guard Down