Dear Gateway Community,
The horrifying news of the tragic shooting of 13 innocent people at a grocery store in Buffalo this past weekend weighs heavily on our hearts. This was a racially-motivated hate crime, and victims were targeted because they were Black. Our hearts are with those who lost their lives, along with their grieving families, all those who were injured, and all those in our community who have been traumatized by this act of hate. This, like so many incidents before, is yet another example of how pervasive and deeply-rooted racism is in this country; we all need to be leaders in the fight for racial justice and stand with and for each other in community in saying: Black Lives Matter.
Although it occurred many miles away, a senseless tragedy such as this can cause common feelings of frustration, anger and fear – especially for the safety of our own children. We wanted to take a minute to reassure our families that our students’ safety and emotional well-being is – and always will be – our number one priority.
As students come to school, we know that they will need time and space to process their emotions and to seek to understand what happened. At Gateway we are committed to providing space to help students to process what took place. We plan to spend some time in advisory sharing with students what they know and allowing them space to process, practice self-care, research, or advocate. We know that healing from tragedies can look different for everyone, and our staff is ready to hold that space for our students.
In the face of repeated horrific and hateful moments, we must continue to support each other and to renew our commitment to come together in solidarity against intolerance, violence and hatred. This weekend was a harrowing reminder of the challenges we face as educators and families committed to building a just and equitable world. But as a school community, we have both the power and the responsibility to combat hate, starting with the respect and care we can show for each other this week.
Sharon and the Gateway Public Schools Team