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Unrest in Our Nation's Capital
Posted 1/7/21

 

 

Message from Superintendent Russell Lee-Sung:

 

I felt compelled today to write and share my thoughts with you regarding the events that occurred yesterday in Washington D.C. 

 

We are privileged to live in this country and enjoy the freedoms of democracy, including the right to vote, freedom of speech, and the ability to protest and rally; freedoms that many countries do not have. 

 

What occurred at our nation's capital and the violence and disruption that ensued is not what our democratic society should be. Like many of you, I am saddened and disappointed by these events. 

 

While our Constitution gives us the right to protest, it does not give us the right to ensue violence or disruption to our democratic process. I believe in our ability to respect and embrace our differences, regardless of political views. 

 

We all should take the time to reflect on what occurred and spend time with our children and students to help them understand and process this event. I want our students to know that our schools are a safe space for support, where they feel comfortable asking questions and expressing their thoughts, concerns and fears with us. 

 

It is a time to revisit and emphasize our civic duty and how our democratic system and principles work. It is also important that we have these conversations without political partisanship or bias. These conversations must come from the perspective that we are one nation that shares a common set of democratic values and principles that should not be divided by our political views. 

 

Teachers, staff and administrators are available to listen to students and facilitate dialogue to help them process and understand this event. Here is an article from Common Sense Media outlining how to talk to kids about difficult subjects, separated by age groups. This can be a good starting place to broach subjects like yesterday’s events, should you choose to have these conversations. 

 

To quote State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, “Our students and children are watching closely, and they deserve the absolute best from us.” 

 

I urge us all to join in solidarity for democracy, nonviolence, and the common values and principles that make the United States the country that our founding fathers created for us and future generations. Let's all hope and work for calm and peace, and support our kids at this critical moment.

 

Sincerely, 

 

Russell Lee Sung

Superintendent

Newport Mesa Unified School District