District 7 Families,
In District 7, we uphold our schools to be a safe place for all students. We aim for each student to see their school as a welcoming and belonging environment. Schools shape the future, and nurture young minds to be positive and meaningful contributors to society; thus, we pride ourselves in cultivating a place that allows all students to process their learning, thoughts and emotions, including various forms of trauma.
As the death of George Floyd sparked outrage to the racial injustice experienced throughout the U.S., we understand the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial may also cause trauma. The trial, as well as anti-Asian and other hate based violence, are important topics of conversation worldwide in our communities, at dinner tables, and in classrooms. These topics may evoke strong emotions for students. While some may want to talk about it to process what happens in our bodies, thoughts, and emotions, others may not. We recognize that for some, discussing race-related trauma can be re-traumatizing. As educators, we have to work to understand student experiences and support them to process and heal. We know each student may process the trial and subsequent findings differently, and we remain steadfast in being a safe place to critically think, discuss and learn. We intend to listen to our students so that we can better understand their perspectives, provide access to school social workers and other adults, and always keep the developmental age of students in mind.
We want all students to feel that District 7 is a safe place. Social Justice issues affect our students and families in many ways. District 7 remains committed to providing a safe, nurturing, healthy school experience for all of our students.
See below resources that are relevant to the current situation.
· Talking to Kids about Racism and Violence
· How to Talk about Traumatic Events and Tragedies
· What to Say to Kids when the News is Scary
Dr. Jason Henderson