Over the weekend, we watched peaceful protests call for justice and equality after the killing of George Floyd. We saw thousands of people engage in nonviolent peaceful protests. We also witnessed media images of violence in our communities and across America. As the Lake County Superintendent of Schools, my thoughts went to our children.
Today, our children will seek to understand these events. They will turn to us with wide eyes and questions. As adults, we must teach them to peacefully stand up against injustice, racism and inequity. Violence is never the answer.
As children turn to adults for answers, it is important that we listen and respond with honesty and empathy. The images they have absorbed on the news and social media may result in an array of emotions, including anger, fear and anxiety. We must address those feelings. Helping students recognize and acknowledge their emotions can be a powerful tool in turning these events into a learning experience.
Ultimately, we must look out for each other as we continue to create safe spaces for our youth. My hope is that we come together in support of a brighter tomorrow for our children. This week, I will reach out to education leaders and community agencies to develop ideas to help us move forward.
Today, I call on our educational community to rise and support equity for our children and our county. Last week’s death of Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis Police custody can serve as a turning point in our approach to race and equity. Persistent inequalities in our nation and state have also been exposed by the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people of color. Enough is enough. We cannot continue as we have been. We must use this moment as a turning point to bring about real change. Our children’s future depends on the actions we take today. I trust our children to lead us into the future.
Please see the following resources to support our youth:
Tips for Talking to Your Children About Current Events:
- Reassure them that they are safe
- Listen with your full attention
- Inform through age appropriate conversations
- Acknowledge feelings
- Watch for signs of distress
- Model self-care
Lake County Superintendent of Schools
We Teach. We Serve. We Learn.
The primary role of the Lake County Office of Education is to ensure that our students and families are provided with the skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century. We will accomplish this by focusing on three basic behaviors: We Teach. We Serve. We Learn.