A letter from Superintendent Jan Jehring
Dear Florida Union Free School District Community,
Over the last week I have struggled to put my thoughts into words to the school community. The violent act in Minneapolis has shaken us to the core. As an adult, I struggle with these actions and as a result have feelings of disbelief, anger, distrust and fear. The situation is incomprehensible. I then try to imagine how a student would process these events and realize the challenge before us as adults and educators. There is work to do.
My message today is to let you know that we are here for your children and to let you know we stand together as a school community against injustice and racism. Our counselors, school psychologists, teachers and administrators are ready and available to help our students. We encourage you to reach out through email. Also we will be establishing a section on our website with resources to talk with your children about these topics.
Lastly, the spring months have been so challenging for everyone. During this time we have missed having our students in school. When we are in session, we have the opportunity to speak with students about topics that are most important to them through discussions and informal talks. Although we have to be more deliberate to have these discussions, we are prepared to support our students and families as we work together for a stronger community.
I hope you and your families are well during this time.
Superintendent of Schools
A letter from S.S. Seward Principal Michael Rheaume
and Assistant Principal Susan Moore
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
These words, spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., have guided us through many trying and difficult times.
Equality matters. How we conduct ourselves and speak with our children about the murder that occurred in Minneapolis, MN, and the protests across our nation, will help, or hinder, our goal of having them live a life better than ours, free of racism.
To assist our school community we will:
1. Be engaging students in social studies classes in appropriate study of enduring issues, such as racism, inequality and various citizen’s rights movements. These topics remain part of social studies, civics
and good citizenship.
2. Provide you with resources to use as you choose to discuss and answer questions your family might have as a result of the events of the past week, and indeed, centuries past.
Together we can help our children to navigate a terrible tragedy while providing them with support and opportunities to discuss these difficult, yet critical, events and topics. Racism exists in our country, we need to be able to discuss it and question ourselves and our own beliefs.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and the resources below. May your family be safe, healthy, and find peace in each other. Embrace equality.
Michael Rheaume and Susan Moore
- Junior Scholastic: Outrage Over George Floyd’s Death Sparks Protests Nationwide
- “How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change” by Barack Obama. The article talks about the actions we can take to see real change and become involved with the world.
- BBC: Why do some protests turn violent?
A letter from Golden Hill Principal Deborah Lisack
Hello families of Golden Hill Elementary,
These are turbulent times we are living through. In addition to COVID19, the recent death of George Floyd and the subsequent injustices that followed weigh heavily on our hearts. As a nation, we have been bombarded with graphic images of communities hurting and in pain. This affects us all.
We in the Florida Union Free School District stand against racism, hate and other discriminatory acts. There are many ways to help but we can have the biggest impact by simply talking with our family and friends about what is happening. If we were in classrooms, we would be having age appropriate
The images across our nation are hard to understand but we must recognize the importance of coming together to raise children who know equality and lead with kindness in their hearts and actions. There will be questions, ideas, worries and concerns.
As a school community we will continue to learn more, be better for our students, be louder for all and practice love. We are all deeply committed to coming together to build a better tomorrow. We are stronger together.
Books to encourage conversations on racial equity and justice
Books for Children:
- Mixed A Colorful Story by Arree Chung
- She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton
- Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
- Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison
- The Color of Us by Karen Katz
- All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
- The Other Side by Jacqueline WoodsonBooks for Tweens:
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
- The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
- Dear Martin by Nic Stone
- Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
- Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper