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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Double Down on Democratic Values

The events in our nation's capital this week have left many of us unsettled. With the presidential inauguration less than two weeks away, we face the prospect of more unrest. As educators and adults who support children, how can we help students process and learn from what is happening?

Superintendent Enfield urges us to make this an opportunity to engage students in conversations about how we can disagree without divisiveness. 

Message from the Superintendent January 8 | Disagreement and Democracy from Highline Public Schools on Vimeo.

Here are resources to help you facilitate conversations about democratic values. To support students' social-emotional wellness, see these resources complied by our SEL team.


Transcript

Hello, Highline. This is not the first message that I wanted to share with you as we begin 2021 together, but given the events in our nation's capital this week, I must.

I know that like me many of you are struggling to manage your own emotions around what we saw happen in Washington D.C. And I know that those of you who are working almost daily with our students have also had to help them make sense of this. And really how can we? This is incredibly difficult to make sense of, and yet we must.

The biggest message that I want to share with you as I reflect on what I have been seeing, hearing, and feeling over the past couple of days is this. We have to return to a place where we can disagree with one another on whatever the issue may be without disliking, disrespecting, dismissing, or even harming one another.

We have to get back to that place, because disagreement is healthy. It's needed, especially in a democracy like ours. But we can't let that disagreement lead to division. We need to move past that together.

So as we begin 2021, this is my hope, my wish for all of us is that we here in Highline can model the way for what it means to disagree without being disagreeable, to have the hard conversations that need to be had but to do them in a way that is honest, caring, and compassionate.

And I will leave you with this. I know because I feel it myself there are moments where it is easy to give in to despair that things won't get better. But I challenge us all not to give in to despair but to rather focus on hope. And there is so much to be hopeful about. We are fortunate that we work with children. And what greater reason is there to find hope in this world than in the eyes, the futures of our children?

And we know that here in Highline every one of our children and young people is brilliant, beautiful, and brimming with promise. So let's focus on that. Let's focus on being the best role models we can be for our students here in Highline and come together to make sure that 2021 is a year that we will look back on with pride that we came together as a community and found a way to move forward. Thank you, Highline.