As we arrived at school, we mobilized. As girls arrived–many with tears in their eyes–we huddled and figured out our best course of action. I want you to know about the care and expertise that came together in that moment; with the best interest of every child in mind, faculty and staff made our plan for the day. Sadly, that plan looked very close to our crisis response plan: make space for feelings, keep the routine, reassure kids that everything is going to be okay. In that way, it was a road we’d been down before.
But in so many other ways, it felt new. We realized that we must push even harder for our girls to take their places in the world. That in this moment, the fight against sexism, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia must grow in strength. That we can do it.
While students were engaged in classes and conversation, our board convened for a previously scheduled meeting. We took a moment to consider the impact of the day and our work as stewards of the institution. The board wrote and approved this statement to the LWGMS student body:
The board met today and unanimously agreed that we will continue to work tirelessly for social justice, equality, and L-Dub – and to fulfill our primary purpose to help you continue to become strong in mind, body, and voice. We care about each and every one of you.
A lot has happened so far today, already. The girls watched Hillary speak. They met. They had a fiery civic debate about the electoral college. They hugged each other, cried, and sang. Some watched President Obama’s message. They created a Gratitude Wall. In my R&R group, students were thankful for music, books, animals, community, their opportunities, “my mom”, knowledge and connection provided by the internet, dogs, and “all the girls here--in every grade--because we support each other like sisters.” They made plans to “spread hope” in small ways this weekend. They were kind to each other, and in doing so, they took more steps to make the world better.
As I write this, they are having a dance party. There’s that beautiful resilience.
When you talk to your daughter this evening, I encourage you to focus on the ways in which we are united, rather than where we are divided. Regardless of your feelings towards the results of last night's election, let's move forward together. Thank you for giving our girls the courage and conviction to face the future with hope. Still we rise.
If you’d like some resources for talking with kids about the election, here is a start.
It’s Time to Get to Work
How to talk to your children about the 2016 Election - Russell Moore
LA Times Commentary
The Day After – Teaching Tolerance
Messages Your Children Need to Hear
As Hillary Clinton said today, “To all of the little girls...never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”