Recent mass shootings and the imminent trial of Derek Chauvin are the latest current events to bring forward a range of emotions and responses in our community. At Spring Lake Park Schools, support for students is guided by our vision to value, inspire and create a sense of belonging for each student.
Spring Lake Park Schools students and staff were on spring break as the most recent news broke. A mass shooting in Boulder came just a week after shootings in the Atlanta area left eight people dead, including six Asian American women. The violence in Atlanta brought forward a public discussion on the ongoing racism, violence and harassment toward Asian Americans that has increased during the pandemic across the country.
In the Twin Cities, jury selection continued for the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, charged in the death of George Floyd last summer. The trial begins Monday, March 29 with the anticipation that the proceedings will surface memories, experiences and a range of emotions for many across our community, state, nation and world.
Spring Lake Park Schools are defined by a vision to be a world-class learning community aligned around fostering personalized experiences so that each student feels valued, inspired, and has a sense of belonging.
“Our vision is more than words,” said Jeff Ronneberg, superintendent, in a message to district families. “It guides our actions each day to provide an equitable, enriching learning environment where we commit to know each child by name, strength, interest and need. There is no place for hate, violence, racism or harassment here.”
Principals, teachers and staff are checking in with students frequently in the coming days and weeks and creating a safe space when needed for students to share and process.
“Whether children are learning at school or home, please know, while we are imperfect, we are fully committed to living our vision each day,” said Jeff. “We are checking in with each student as we return to learning, because when each student feels valued, inspired and like they belong, we build the foundation for a better tomorrow within and beyond our schools.”
Resources for families
At home, families may be looking for resources to help children process emerging current events. Here are a few of many resources available that families may find helpful:
- Resources to Help Educators, Adults Respond to Racism, Violence and Trauma (MDE)
- Talking to Children about Tragedies & Other News Events (AAP)
- Anti-Racism for Kids: An Age-by-Age Guide for Fighting Hate (Parents)
- Talking to Young Children About Race and Racism (PBS)
- Helping Youth after Community Trauma: Tips for Parents and Educators (NCTSN)
Families are encouraged to reach out to their child’s school principal in the coming days if they need additional support. School staff can help connect families to resources.