ASL Video: https://youtu.be/uHvl63utIkc
As I watched in horror the events of yesterday’s mob uprising at the nation’s Capitol, and I tried to moderate my own emotions—not very successfully, I thought about our students. I hope that in the coming days our teachers and staff will take time to help our students process these events. Because they were unraveling live in front of all of us, the access was very limited and almost absent in terms of sign language interpretation. We all have our own feelings about what happened and as we try to process and understand yesterday’s events and what led up to them, let’s support our students in ensuring that their needs, questions and concerns are addressed. There is no simple or right way to do it—just offer them the opportunity to process what they saw and create the space for dialogue.
Our students have lost so much as a result of COVID-19 and now they are witnesses to the threat against our democracy that we have taught them to have faith in. My heart breaks that our kids have yet another traumatic event in their lifetime. Let’s do lots of check-ins and provide invitations to discuss. As we work through our feelings and try to process and understand what happened, let us remember our nation’s most fundamental values: the value of peace, the value of civility and mutual respect, the value of democracy, and the value of freedom in America. Hopefully we as educators can model the kind of behavior, respect and listening we wish to see from all our fellow Americans, including our leaders.
I’m working hard on keeping my political ideology at bay and focusing on the sense of human empathy in all of us. This is further resolve that we must focus on full equity and access in our anti-racism work.
I hope you all are managing OK.
With sadness and hope,