Caring for our students in light of current events
Dear Jesuit Parents – we are sharing below, the message sent earlier this evening to faculty/staff that addressed today’s current events. We hope you find the resources referenced useful as well.
The context of our teaching and our care for students is, once again, impacted by the events of our nation and our world. The verdict has been reached in the Derek Chauvin trial, one of the most closely watched trials in recent history. We imagine that most of the faculty and staff and most of our students will have emotional reactions, and this topic is likely to arise in your classrooms or in other conversations with students. If you are comfortable having a conversation in your classroom, we would welcome you to do so. If you do not feel comfortable – that is perfectly fine, too.
Part of our role is to help students make sense of this moment in time in light of their faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We also know from experience that facilitating healthy and productive conversations can be challenging. As you know, our job is not to tell students what to think, rather to provide a space for dialogue, discernment, and listening while encouraging them to think critically in a way that is consistent with seeking truth, justice, and reconciliation.
As Principal Wood shared with you earlier this year, “It is my hope Jesuit can be a place that models a healthier form of discourse and allows all students to feel safe and welcome…to shepherd our students through this process that will result in their capacity to be more thoughtful, more charitable, more considerate, and more understanding. What we share with students in our capacities as teacher, coach, moderator, administrator, or mentor carries considerable weight with our students, which makes our role in this time all the more important.”
We know that some of us would welcome the opportunity to talk among ourselves to process this moment in time, to prepare for the classroom, and to benefit from the experience of our incredible faculty and staff. We are providing an opportunity to do that tomorrow, Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
We are also re-sharing the 7 Principles of Constructive Dialogue as another resource for your consideration. Please know that students, parents, and staff can access these resources to support constructive dialogue on challenging topics, as well as how to access mental and emotional wellness support for all who may be struggling.
Please know we are here to support you and your good work with students. All members of the school leadership are available to you for questions or guidance. May God guide our minds and hearts in the pursuit of God’s desire for peace and healing in the world.
Michael Wood and John McGarry, S.J.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.