January 15, 2021
Dear APS Community,
We have all watched the historic events unfolding at the U.S. Capitol these past few weeks, and so I am taking this opportunity to provide some thoughts as we prepare to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this weekend.
As we are learning the full extent of these events, we know they can be unsettling for all of us, and especially for children. At last week’s School Committee meeting, I urged teachers, parents, and caretakers to find time to engage our young people in discussions – in classrooms and at home around the dining room table. For sure, we know they need the opportunity to talk, ask questions, to be heard and express their fears.
I am writing now because I believe we need to continue our conversations with our young people, not just to talk about what happened, but also to engage them in discussions about what might yet occur up to, during, or after the Inauguration. I urge all you to help our young people through what could be a troubling, even frightening time.
Also, I am concerned that our young people – in their fears and apprehensions – may look to negative models. In these times, we need to stress that we all should kind to and respectful of others, celebrate the diversity in our town, and reach beyond our immediate circle of friends to include those who may feel alone.
We certainly need to stress that inappropriate and negative use of social media might be the most damaging of all. Words hurt and can cause such damage. We’ve seen that on the national stage in recent days. The Office of Student Services wishes to offer some resources for our families to facilitate these conversations.
Finally, as we celebrate MLK Day, let us remember what he taught us: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
As a community with diverse backgrounds and various viewpoints, I am certain we will stand in support of one another.
Claudia L. Bach