Nov 10, 2016
A Message from Dan Schwartz: Elections, Compassion, and Community
Dear Baker Community,
In the aftermath of a divisive electoral season and historic election, we understand how essential it is for parents, teachers, and school to be in partnership in responding to the needs of children. Our role at Baker is to provide students with opportunities to process their feelings about the election and to reassure them that we are here for them.
Our teachers are making a concerted effort to pause for reflection and engage in age-appropriate discussions with children who are managing a host of mixed emotions. We want to encourage an open exchange of thoughts, ideas, and feelings generated in a safeand diverse community. Respectful civil discourse creates valuable learning opportunities and is essential in a democratic community. That said, Baker is an inclusive community dedicated to promoting social justice, and we will not allow mean-spirited or hateful language to taint the principles and values of our school mission.
At home, you may wish to reinforce some of the following key points in talking with your child(ren):
- Reassure them that school and home are safe spaces where teachers, parents, and peers care deeply for and about them.
- Remind them that as a nation our government has endured for a very long time. As a democratic society, there are processes in place to prevent any extreme actions by any branch of the government.
- Elections are an important part of the democratic process; this is why as a country we work together to honor the outcomes of elections even if there are major differences in the candidates who run for office.
- Members of the Baker community, and throughout the broader American populace, are experiencing different reactions to the election results. Some students and adults may be happy about the result while others are sad and disappointed.
- We are fortunate to be part of an amazing school community that is diverse and inclusive. Encourage your child(ren) to live out the words of what it means to be a Baker student – continue loving to learn, cherishing the journey of childhood, and serving the world by finding ways to make a positive difference in it – now and always.
- As a school community, we believe in peace and unity. We reinforce that it is dangerous to remain silent when something is wrong or someone is hurting.
- Give your child(ren) opportunities to listen to and understand others, and work on finding solutions to conflicts and respecting different ideas and perspectives.
In A Letter From A Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated that: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly…History has presented us with a cosmic challenge…we must now learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together…”
Let us reinforce our school community, build stronger relationships with each other, and together, through compassion and vision, help our children see that the sun will rise tomorrow, and hope and promise will emerge triumphant. Should you desire additional resources or need support from our school, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Head of School