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BPS Stands for Unity
Dear Boston Public Schools Family Member:
In in the wake of last weekend’s violent events in Charlottesville, Va., and Monday’s desecration of the New England Holocaust Memorial, we want all of our families to know that the Boston Public Schools stands firmly with Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston residents in rejecting the messages of those who preach hatred and intolerance and who seek to divide, rather than unify, the people of this great country.
Racism, prejudice, and discrimination have no place in our society, nor our schools. Such attitudes and beliefs can have a profoundly harmful effect on children, furthering the historical marginalization of groups of students by negatively impacting their achievement and social-emotional health.
We will continue to stand up for all of our students and families, and welcome and teach every single child who enters our school doors. Diversity and inclusion are the bedrock of our values as a school system and as a city. We are more committed than ever in creating a safe, inclusive and sustaining learning environment for all of our students, parents, and staff.
We appreciate your support and guidance in having conversations with your students about stressful events, in particular around issues of hate and bigotry. Below are some tips to help adults talk with children about these important yet challenging topics:
Don’t be afraid to talk to your child about recent events that appear in the news and on social media
Promote a sense of safety by acknowledging the current events, and ask your child if he or she has any questions or concerns that the two of you could talk about
Use age-appropriate language (i.e. talk to elementary-school-aged children about the importance of being a good friend and valuing each other’s differences)
Share your experiences
Model good behavior, such as being supportive of other cultures
Share ideas about how your child can respond to racism that he or she may have encountered
During the school year, your child’s school is a good resource to assist you in addressing any concerns you may have about speaking to your child. In the meantime, additional guidance is available by calling the BPS Behavioral Health Services department at (617) 635-9676.
Tommy Chang, Ed.D.