Statement from the Superintendent of Schools
Update: January 7 2021
There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.
Dear Harrison Families,
January 6, 2021, will be a historic day. The institutions of the United States of America and the principles on which they were founded endured a heinous attack. Historians will record a day of sadness but also a day of promise and hope. After surviving an unprecedented assault on its institutions, both physical and rhetorical, on its elections, its courts, its elected officials, and its constitution, the United States of America and the laws designed to protect our democratic principles prevailed. History will record that deep in the darkness of night, men and women of both political parties came together to uphold the rule of law and affirm that a free people can speak truth to power in a democracy. Lincoln would be proud that our elected leaders permitted no grievance to be a fit object of redress by mob law.
Our students have endured a pandemic, racial and political divisiveness, and an assault on democracy, all while simply yearning to be in school. Your children are always watching, whether kindergartners or high school seniors. You are and will always be their most influential teachers; the lessons you impart, purposely or not, are written on their hearts. They are attentive to your moods, your treatment of family, neighbors, and strangers. Silently they observe your reaction to the world, discerning your response to determine their own. The children are always watching, what did they learn yesterday?
Did we teach them to understand and acknowledge the glory and the injustices of our history? Of our shared responsibility to address the injustices that endure? That we are a nation of laws? To aspire to create a more perfect union?
Your children are perfect, utterly unique, and our schools celebrate each of them. Our shared work is to relentlessly prepare each of them to pursue America’s aspiration - that all men and women be treated equally and valued for their inherent worth.
Our school district is founded on the principles of equity and access to opportunity for all children. I have devoted my life to that work. We teach and re-teach your children to see, celebrate, and respect each other every day. The Board of Education and I aspire for the self-actualization of every child, employee, and parent in our learning community.
Our shared work for the common good is not political; it is moral. Each of us is imbued with inherent worth. We must persistently ask, “Who are we, what do we hope to be, and what do we hope for our children?” Our challenge is not to choose sides but to bring people together to do what is right and just. Although America protected its principles of democracy, the world our children inherit is disastrously divided, but not irrevocably so. Their future is inextricably linked to how we care for one another and to the lessons we teach them behind the closed doors of our schools and homes.
The children are always watching. We believe in their abilities and goodness; they will create a more perfect union. The story I choose to tell our children is on January 6, 2021, the will of good people prevailed. Together we can and must provide the guidance and be the role models our children deserve.
Happy new year, we have many promising improvements just ahead. Choose optimism.
Louis N. Wool, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools