Superintendent's Letter on January 14th 2021 Encouraging Civil Discourse

Dear Staff,
Much has been written about the “disruptors” of 2020 and beyond.  Education is experiencing them like no other entity or institution.  In my previous email I spoke of the disruptors of COVID-19, Racial Equity/Black Lives Matter and  the threat to our democracy.  TSD students, staff and families are being impacted by all of these disruptors, and are still reacting to the insurrection at the Capitol last week and its aftermath bringing to light many injustices and inequities that exist in our lives.  
My previous email fell short of providing you resources with which to open up space for safe dialogues on these issues and with thanks to Malibu Barron, our Coordinator of Equity and Inclusion Coordinator, these resources are provided.  
As the "Fostering Civil Discourse" article stated, we must start with ourselves by noticing how we feel and what our thoughts are (p. 2). And, take this chance to check in with ourselves and our people, and take care of ourselves, our students, and people that we work with. It is encouraged that we practice self-compassion, compassion for each other, and acknowledging that hate has no place anywhere, including TSD. 
We recognize the great need for self-care practices and here are ways that you can access and use for free. And, if you have an idea or a need that is not listed below, reach out to us to share with the TSD community. For more information, you can click on the blue words and are bold/underlined: 
And, as a TSD community, we need to create more opportunities to allow our students to have an accessible and inclusive format to have this dialogue in classrooms, dormitory, and at home. Here is a couple of links that you can access to learn more about the insurrection, creating a brave space to have this conversation, and different ways to discuss this with your students:
As we all process these disruptors and what they mean to ourselves and TSD, I hope you feel the encouragement to move forward in your  work to speak out to end the cycle of hate that incites violence, to continue to explore an understand the meaning of privilege in our lives, and to continue to instill self-advocacy and allyship in all of our students at TSD.  This is a call to action for all of us to do our part to make this a world we all want to live in.  This is the work of civil discourse.  It’s a process, it’s not designed to reach a conclusion or support a particular point of view.  Students must know that you are on their side (even if you don’t always agree with them,) and that you will not view them negatively if they say something that surprises you. They must believe that all views are welcome, and that you will protect them from personal attacks or humiliation if they “put themselves out there.” Unconditional acceptance means creating an environment where students are safe to be who they actually are and to say what they honestly think, without fear of facing judgement.  This applies to our staff as well.

Please let me or your supervisors know how we may provide more support and assistance.