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Chalk Talk: Respect, kindness, and nonviolence are non-negotiable

Editor’s note: This edition of Chalk Talk reprints a letter sent to the Bromfield School and Hildreth Elementary School community Jan. 9 by school district administrators.

Dear Families of Harvard Students,

One of our core values as a district is developing students’ ability to understand diverse perspectives and value diversity. Students learn how to express their feelings in constructive ways, to peacefully coexist with and appreciate each other, including those whose cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and ability levels may differ from their own. Among the non-negotiables are respect, kindness, and nonviolence.

One of our district priorities is antiracism, and we want to publicly condemn the violence and racism displayed this week. The initial lack of response by authorities for the violence and lawlessness in the Capitol, especially when compared to police responses to other demonstrations, has once again highlighted long-standing structural racism in our society. As part of our ongoing commitment to this work, we will continue to examine bias in our curriculum, to diversify our literature, and to intentionally incorporate books and lessons that teach students about racism.

The principals have met with teachers to discuss ways to respond to students’ questions and concerns about recent events in the news by offering opportunities to ask questions and think critically. We are mindful that young students may be less aware than our older students and are discussing developmentally appropriate ways to address these important issues with students of different ages. Many teachers began these conversations on Thursday.

Please contact anyone on the leadership team if you have questions or wish to have the district support your child or family with these issues.

Sincerely,

Linda G. Dwight, superintendent 
Josh Myler, HES principal 
Scott Hoffman, Bromfield School principal 
Marie Harrington, pupil services 
Robin Benoit and Dori Pulizzi, associate principals

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