Dear Los Alamitos Unified School District Staff, families and Community,
As much as we might have wished the trials that faced our nation in 2020 would have disappeared with the new year, the events of the past week have served to heighten the tensions and stress that all of us have been feeling. What transpired in our Capitol last week stunned, disgusted, and saddened us. Then when we factor in the continued uncertainty of the pandemic, it is difficult to not feel overwhelmed. However, if we choose to face these challenges together in the way our staff, families, and community have resolutely faced challenges in the past, I truly believe we will find the resilience to emerge stronger, wiser, and more unified! Despite the unsettling images of unrest and violence from last week, I am optimistic about the power of people coming together and the role we all play to ensure our freedoms and democratic values are upheld.
Finding resilience will depend on our commitment to help one another. At times of agitation, civil discourse can seem difficult to master. At times, our first inclination may be to not talk in an effort to protect those we love from the troubling aspects of our society. However social media and continuous live coverage of events make it impossible for anyone to truly escape. Our resilience will come from focusing in on what we do have the power to change and working to tackle every concern with a spirit of unity. It will take attentiveness as we strive to recognize signs when another person needs us to listen and to care and honesty to admit when we ourselves want support. This task is more difficult when we are asked to isolate and social distance, but we can be present for one another at home, on campus and in the community.
I encourage you to reach out – to your children, loved ones, neighbors and friends -and talk and listen. Talk about how you believe that truth will triumph, that love will defeat hate, that unity will erase division. Or just talk and be present with those you love!
I’ve included a few resources below that have been shared with me as Superintendent that you may find helpful to discuss recent events with your family:
- National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children About Violence
- The Learning Network: 10 Ways to Talk to Students About Sensitive Issues in the News
- Commonsense Media: Talking to Kids About the Violence at the U.S. Capitol
- Commonsense Media: Talking to Children about Tragedies and other News Events
- Kurtz Psychology: How to Talk to Kids About Current Events and What They See on the News
- Sesame Street in Communities: Traumatic Experiences
- Anti-Defamation League: Table Talk: Family Conversations about Current Events
- NPR: When the News is Scary, What to Say to Kids
- NEA: Talking to Kids about the Attack on the Capitol
Our staff will be vigilant when it comes to caring for your children. We will all strive to impart strategies for resilience while recognizing an earnest cry for help. Stay safe. Protect those around you and hold fast to the conviction that we are Better and Stronger Together.
This article was written by Superintendent Andrew Pulver, Los Alamitos Unified School District.