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A Special Message from Superintendent Miner: Our Democracy, Our Values
January 8, 2021
Dear Shoreline Schools Families and Staff,
I have had a heavy heart since witnessing the terrible criminal acts and symbols of hate in our nation’s Capitol on Wednesday. Our nation was already deeply wounded by systemic racism and racial violence, social injustice, the pandemic and deep divides which feel insurmountable at times. Events this week have only increased the anger, sadness and fear that most of us were feeling.
I draw hope, even in my sadness, that we have the power, will and desire to create a new future and I am grateful to serve in our public schools which I believe have the most influence and ability to do this. Our incredible educators are providing safe spaces for students to have appropriate conversations and process thoughts and emotions. Our staff go to work every day to teach our community’s children to be critical thinkers, to respect the human dignity of everyone they meet, to share the reality of our history, and to embrace our diversity in order to work toward the future we all desire. I hope you will join me in thanking them for that work.
I am also grateful to our students whose voices have been elevated to a level I have never seen before as they become leaders not just in our schools but also our community. Their advocacy, experiences and passion inspire me. They push us forward and remind us every day why we do this work and why our work matters. I hope you will join me in thanking them for their courage and their tireless fight for justice.
Like our community, our district is diverse. I have always seen this as one of our greatest community assets. I appreciate discussions with others where we can learn from each other and grow by exchanging ideas and sharing our thinking. I hope in the coming days, when additional challenges may be presented, that we will all think about the individual ways that we can support others in our community, particularly our families and students of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the tragedies of this year.
In addition to support for others, I know that it is sometimes difficult to find the words to talk with children about these events. Below are some suggestions for talking to your children about this week’s violence.
- Responding to Children’s Emotional Needs During Times of Crisis (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (National Association of School Psychologists)
Additionally, our mental health resources webpage has a number of resources and information to support you. These are times of unprecedent stress and uncertainty and I hope that you will reach out for yourself or your children if you need support.
In closing, I would also like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to providing each and every student with a safe, respectful and supportive learning environment. We continually strive to provide our students, staff and families with an inclusive school community that respects and embraces all identities, cultures, customs and religions. If you do witness or hear about behavior that does not align with these principles, we hope that you will communicate that information to us. You can do this by:
- contacting your child’s school,
- submitting a tip through our SafeSchools Alert system, or
- submitting a Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Form.