Dear Families and US Students,
I had planned on sharing a message of cheer as we entered a new year and the second half of the 2020-21 School year. But in light of the armed violence that took place in the U.S. Capitol yesterday in an attempt to halt our democratic process, I need to adjust my thinking about this message.
As a former U.S. History teacher, as an American, and as a voter, I am absolutely heartbroken over what took place yesterday in Washington, DC. I am angry. I look at how far we’ve come as a country and how very far we have yet to go. I look at our rising COVID-19 cases and how hard we are fighting to give our children a safe place to learn and to grow in all aspects of their wellness, and I am exhausted. And while as a leader I wish I had more time to process my thoughts and my feelings before addressing you as your Head of School, I know that many of our children are wrestling with similarly complex thoughts and emotions. They are looking to us for guidance on where to go from here.
I wish I had all the answers. Unfortunately, I do not. What I do know is that now more than ever, our School and our School’s mission is critical to our democracy. We at St. Anne’s-Belfield are here to inspire children to be exemplary citizens and visionary leaders. To have agency and impact because they are curious. They are respectful. And they are honest. And we are going to continue on that march to inspire and educate and prepare our students to make a difference now and in the future.
Below, please find some resources to help facilitate conversations and deepen our understanding of what we witnessed yesterday.
- Terrorism and War: How to Talk to Children (AACAP)
- How to Talk to your Kids about the Breach at the U.S. Capitol (Motherly)
My colleagues are in communication to prepare to aid our students when they return next week. Until then, I leave you with these words from Thomas Jefferson, delivered during his first inaugural address:
Let us then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind, let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty, and even life itself, are but dreary things.
… but every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all republicans; we are all federalists.
Dr. Autumn A. Graves
Head of School