As parents and educators we collectively carry the responsibility of responding with honesty, compassion and conviction as our children and students witness history in real time, as they have this past week. It is more important than ever to have effective communication with our students through engagement in conversations that may not be comfortable or easy to have. We would, therefore, like to share some resources for entering into conversations with your children, our students, around the topic of racial inequality (see below). As a school we are committed to equipping our staff with the tools and resources needed to facilitate continued conversation in the classroom.
In 1960 when the John F. Kennedy school was founded, the school represented the platform on which a bridge of friendship and community was built among the German and American cultures. The cornerstone of our school is to provide conversation and learning about cultures for new generations of youth. Regardless of background, it is difficult to process the recent events. Many in our community are experiencing waves of emotion and shock in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the resulting social outcries.
These topics are complex. However, our founding principles mandate that we address them and guide our students through them according to our mission and the tenants of Berlin School law. The diversity and experiences our students, faculty and staff bring to the community are part of what can enable our students to be change-agents as they go out into the world. Through their ability to respectfully and emotively engage in conversation, they and we can lead social justice down a new path.
We hope that parents and teachers will use this opportunity to respond to and initiate important conversations about race and racism, and hope that the resources we (a group of JFKS counselors and teachers) have provided are helpful.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to the counseling team for support in navigating these topics with your children.
Together we can contribute to creating a fairer and more just society, beginning in our own homes and school community.
A Kid’s Book About Racism – Read Aloud