Never have we seen our democracy or governmental buildings aggressed upon in such an overt, brazen, and disturbing fashion. As I sat up last night and watched the speeches on the Senate floor, I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster. In processing with my own two children, the sheer magnitude of what we witnessed yesterday began to sink in. At the center of all of our conversations was the juxtaposition of the violence in response to the Black Lives Matter protests in our city over the summer and the almost all white rioters storming the Capitol nearly unchecked. And if we are honest with ourselves (and we must be honest with ourselves), we are not shocked or surprised, nor is this new.
Our role as educators is to support and educate or students to be the best citizens they can be. In alignment to our school wide commitment to equity, we must talk about what happened yesterday and the unsubtle subtext of race. Today our teachers will all be engaging in discussions with our students, in age appropriate ways, to give them space to talk about what happened, share their feelings, and ask questions. Our primary focus will be to reassure students that they are safe. We will also provide space and information to help them process. We will be using the following “kid friendly” script/social story to help kids understand the facts of what happened: Capitol Attack Kid Talk
No doubt you have also had conversations with your kids about what has transpired. Below are several articles that you may find helpful:
- How to talk to your kids about the chaos at the Capitolfrom National Geographic
- Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachersfrom the National Association of School Psychologists
- An age-by-age guide on how to talk about difficult topics with your childrenfrom Motherly and Common Sense Media
- Helping Children Cope With Frightening News from the Child Mind Institute
- Breaking News – Youtube Read Aloud of the book, “Breaking New”
As teachers and parents, I encourage us to be empowered to teach our students through this historic moment. Please reach out if you need us.
With love and in solidarity,