Genesee Hill Families,
These past weeks have been unexpected and hard for many in our community, and we have been hearing from several families with concerns about recent events. First and foremost, our hearts and deepest condolences are with the students, families, and community at Ingraham High School. We have provided specific links to resources about gun violence at the end of this email.
In addition to this tragic event, last week we learned of microaggressions occurring at Genesee Hill. Most of you received an email/text from Principal Dunn and your child’s teacher bringing awareness to these microaggressions and sharing resources. Following this, we also learned that Mr. Johnson, one of the few Black staff members at Genesee Hill, made a very difficult decision to resign. Many of you have reached out expressing concern that Mr. Johnson is leaving due to students and microaggressions he has experienced. He has had several students come up to him to apologize and/or ask him to stay. We want to ensure that students know that it is not their fault that he is leaving.
This situation has, however, brought to light a theme we continue to hear from our GHE community. Microaggressions based in race are harmful, are happening, and how we respond as adults matters. The GHE community believes it is important for us to address events as they occur, thus creating a community which does not shy away from conversations around race and identity, as uncomfortable as they may be at times. There is value in us talking with each other and identifying solutions to help support our community so that each student, staff, and family feels they belong.
As your PTA leadership at Genesee Hill and in support of the work already being done by our teachers and building leadership, we would like to offer ways for our community to join together in dialogue, about these pressing issues. We would like to host our first Community Wide Conversation on December 6th at 6pm (Location TBD).
This evening will be facilitated by PTA presidents Lia Barros and Michael Brown. There will be prepared questions to help guide these critical conversations, aimed to encourage the audience to express their opinions and consider new perspectives.
In addition to holding this space, we want to offer additional resources in alignment with what the school has already shared to support you in individual growth and talking with your kids about race.
Thank you again for taking the time to explore these resources and joining us in conversation. We look forwarding to seeing you all December 6th. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.
RESOURCES FOR GUN VIOLENCE:
How to Talk to Kids About Violence is a great resource. You know your children best.
We absolutely agree with what is said in this article, that “students are fantastic observers, but poor interpreters.” They see and hear so much, but without the space to process, they don’t know how to interpret what they are seeing or hearing.
Other helpful resources include: