While this letter is written to the adults in our school community, my hope is that it sparks courage over comfort conversations in every household. This moment in time is a valuable opportunity for children to hear from and talk with the trusted adults in their lives to help them make sense of what is scary and confusing.
There is no hiding. It is everywhere we look and across all media platforms: the heartbreaking images of extreme and unjustifiable acts of violence against the Black community, the most recent act resulting in the excruciating death of Mr. George Floyd. More devastating still is the fact that Mr. Floyd is only one of countless Black Americans who has suffered the same horrific fate. While we physically cannot come together to express our support and care for one another, The Alexander Dawson School stands in solidarity with our Black students, faculty, staff, families, and alumni in collective grief. We acknowledge, too, that the pain and burden of this grief rests disproportionately on the shoulders of our nation’s Black community.
Now more than ever, we need to stand in unity against these injustices. Silence is not an acceptable response, nor is it enough to be tolerant; yet, begetting violence with more violence is also not the answer. What is important now is to take the words of Dawson’s Diversity Statement and Core Beliefs to heart as we work together to model for our children what it means to be agents of positive change in support of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. We must be unwavering in our commitment to helping our children build communities where everyone truly feels valued, safe, and accepted. And we must teach them the power of solving conflict through dialogue and deep understanding, not destruction.
I understand this is multi-layered, historical, and complex. Therefore, here are a few resources you may find helpful during discussions with your family about the death of George Floyd and the accompanying protests happening across the country and around the globe, including in our city of Las Vegas.
These are not simple or easy discussions, yet if we ever hope to end racism and its devastating effects, if we ever hope to seek answers through active and respectful discourse, they are a necessary first of many steps toward real and lasting change. Please, we need to work together so our children grow to inherit a world where one life lost to racism and violence is one too many.
The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain, an independent school located on 33-acres in the community of Summerlin, is Nevada’s first Stanford University Challenge Success partner school for students in early childhood through grade eight. Utilizing the unique Challenge Success framework, Dawson uses research-based strategies and programs that emphasize student academics, wellbeing, and a healthy school-life balance to create more engaged, motivated, and resilient learners and leaders. At Dawson, students achieve their individual potential while savoring life and meeting the challenges of the world.