The past few days have been difficult and horrifying—from Friday night’s terrifying torch march, to the grotesque murder of Heather Heyer, to the President’s astonishing remarks yesterday.
Over the next several weeks our schools will welcome students for the start of a new school year. They will come with the images of Charlottesville and the words of the President still fresh in their minds. And because many of them come from racial, ethnic, and religious groups that were the targets of the hate unleashed in Charlottesville, many of them are likely to be afraid.
Our community has an obligation to directly address the concerns and questions of our students. And we must do that with one strong voice that assures each child, in no uncertain terms, that white supremacy, hate, and violence are wrong and unacceptable. Full stop. There can be no waffling or equivocating.
We all come to the hard work of building better schools out of a commitment to the future—a future where the ideals on which this country was founded will live more vividly in the next generation than they have in the past. Recent days have felt like our nation is being pulled back into the darkest parts of our past. We can’t and won’t let this happen.