Principal's Response to Current Events

Principal's Response to Current Events
Posted on 01/06/2021

Dear FMA,

As I sit here with my family watching the storming of the U.S. Capitol and unfurling of American democracy, my heart weeps. It weeps for the attempts to overturn the results of a free and fair presidential election. My heart weeps for the failed peaceful transfer of power that has been the hallmark of our Republic. My heart weeps for the omnipresent hatred, anger, and rage that has imbrued the fabric of our nation's conscience since its inception, brimming over for years through political, ideological, and racial divisions. My heart weeps for the countless lives lost through intentional and random acts of violence, mass shootings, riots, mobs, and the failure of our justice system to truly serve justice. My heart weeps for the culture of white supremacy emboldened by privilege and structural racism at the highest levels infecting every American system from health care and human services to economics and education. My heart weeps for the rampant discrimination and disenfranchisement of people who don't look, act, talk, learn, love, or live like the dominant culture.

At this moment, I honestly can't say that I am surprised. After years of divisive rhetoric, things seemed destined to eventually erupt. Yet, I am struck by the sharp contrast between law enforcement response to protests today and BLM protests last year. We all witnessed numerous aggressive interventions such as proactively barricading the capital with fencing, beating activists with batons, gassing peaceful protestors, dismissing vigilante attacks on protestors, and calling peaceful protestors thugs and a litany of expletives, and far worse. But today, protesters were not only allowed on Capitol grounds. They managed to scale the Capitol walls, storm through the front doors, onto the Senate floor, and into the offices of lawmakers.

This is a time of great reckoning in America. As a country, we must come to terms with what our historically discriminatory systems have created, enabled, and breathed life into. As parents and caregivers, we may feel powerless in this struggle, but I firmly believe that we can affect positive change in the midst of these unsteady times. Change begins by acknowledging our own humanity ... our strengths and opportunities. Our glows and grows. Our potential and our privilege. Our benevolence and our biases.

Then, we need to embrace our own identity. Our journey of self-discovery must begin with our own vulnerability and acknowledging where our limitations are. We can model vulnerability by reaching out to ask for help. Only then can we turn our attention toward deeply examining through an equity lens the systems we have created as a school. Who benefits? Who is disproportionately impacted? Why? What changes should we make as a school to address this and improve outcomes for all of our students?

Tomorrow, teachers will be creating spaces of vulnerability for your scholars to share how they are feeling and what they are thinking as they process current events. As much as we may try to shield our students from what is happening in the world around them, they see it and experience it more than we may realize. We do them a disservice by remaining silent on issues that impact them. Class discussions will be developmentally appropriate listening sessions to allow students space to share if they would like. This may be all the help they need to get through the day. Below is an article with helpful resources to talk to your child about current events:

We also have a robust system of Social and Emotional Learning support at school to help you and your scholars get through these difficult times. Please feel free to reach out to our school social worker, counselor, or Family Liaison:

We can and will get through this together. Let us keep holding on tight to each other!

Sincerely,
Maisha Rounds, Ed.M
Proud Principal
Fletcher-Maynard Academy
225 Windsor St.
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617.349.6588
Fax: 617.349.6595
Website: https://fma.cpsd.us/

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

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