Dear Gordon Families,
As I write to you, we still don't know how the violence in Washington, DC, will resolve itself.
But I have faith that it will.
I do not wish to diminish the import of what we are witnessing in our nation’s capital. The mobs in Washington, DC, crossed a line that cannot be ignored. Guns have been drawn on the Senate floor, Confederate flags have flown in the halls of Congress, and in the words of the New York Times writer Jim Rutenberg, "The United States has now failed at having a peaceful transition of power."
I am disturbed and shaken to my core by what can only be described as an attempt to overthrow our democracy. But I have hope that this country can and will recover.
How is hope possible in a moment like this?
My hope is in us.
As events in DC unfolded today, news came from Georgia that our democracy was operating as it was intended. A lawful, orderly and decisive election had occurred, with extremely high stakes, months after a similarly crucial and well-executed national election. One of today's victors, Senator-elect Raphael Warnock, noted about his mother that "the 82-year old hands that used to pick cotton, went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator." Joining him will be Jon Ossoff, the first Jewish senator elected from the South since the 1880s. The people. We, the people, made this happen.
In one of my favorite books American Soul, Jacob Needleman talks about our government as "the art form of America," saying "there must lie within the process of its formation lessons that we shall need to learn... the art is in the group. The intelligence and benevolence we need can only come from the group, from associations of [human beings] seeking to struggle against the impulses of illusion, egoism, and fear."
I have hope because I believe in the art and the power of individuals working in community for the common good. I see this art being created every day at Gordon School, but we are not unique in this endeavor. There are good people all over this country who are committed to and will keep fighting for the good.
Knowing this, sadly, does not make the events of today easier to watch or comprehend.
Your children might already be disturbed by images in the news and conversations they may overhear. Or, the events of today might not register with them for some time.
Either way, today will be a day that your children will remember when they look back on the history that was made when they were young.
They will remember that they spent these days at Gordon with caring and justice-minded teachers who took them seriously and worked to give them what they needed, day by day and child by child.
Tomorrow, when your children come to Gordon, we will keep them safe. We will listen to them carefully. And we will remind them of the good. Of the art and power of us.
That will look different in every classroom, at every age level, as it should. But throughout the school, the conversations will build on a foundation of trust, compassion and respect that Gordon has consciously and strategically fostered in preparation for days like today.
We are ready to meet your children where they are tomorrow, and we are ready to help them make sense of the history happening around them. That is true whether they have ten more years on Gordon's campus or just a few more months.
I am so proud and honored that you have entrusted us with your children for this critical time in their lives.