As much as yesterday was filled with blue skies and sun, many hearts remain heavy as our country processes the tragic death of George Floyd. The violations of human dignity in the death of George Floyd as well as the recent loss of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, among many others, are stark reminders that we continue to live in a world challenged with racism and other forms of injustice. The recent protests and the additional loss of life that have occurred over the past several days have not been seen since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In addition to these recent travesties, the COVID-19 pandemic has now taken over one hundred thousand lives and further exposed inequities that disproportionately impact people of color and the working poor in our country.
It has been a difficult time for us all. It is a moment that shines a bright light on the scabs of our society that remain unhealed. Eton Academy is a community that has always illuminated a spirit of hope, acceptance, and equality. We will need to harness these attributes to propel us forward. Eton Academy is in a uniquely powerful position to help during these difficult times because we understand through our work with our students how it feels to be treated differently and denied the services, support, and opportunities that others are granted.
At any other time, we would be able to come together on our campus to support one another and guide our students together. We would gather to express our feelings of concern and distress as well as affirm our commitment to equity, compassion, and empathy. Even though we cannot be together on campus at this time, our faculty and staff are prepared to support our students by listening and providing additional resources that will help them process what they have heard and seen. Our division directors, Student Development Services division, and school psychologist will be available to offer guidance and support as well. And I am always available to you.
We do not have the specific answers to resolve the challenges we face; however, we do have the ability to create the space to have conversations that are needed to make the world a better place. Your student or a fellow parent may reach out to you to discuss how they are feeling regarding the recent loss of life, injustices, destruction, and/or acts of racism. I encourage you to be a good listener and to avoid words or body language that might suggest a sense of judgement. Below are two links to resources that might be helpful as you support your family during this time.
Eton Academy is an amazing community. Our solidarity around the idea that every person can soar when given the support and opportunity can inspire others to have the same belief in humanity. Although my heart remains heavy today, I’m unwavering in my belief that together, we can create the change that is needed.