Dear Charter Community,
Yesterday’s violent insurrection in our nation’s Capitol was a direct assault on our democracy and has left us reeling. Personally, I am feeling a mix of anger, grief, and dismay, as well as deep concern over how students, including my own children, are experiencing these troubling events.
Today, my heart and mind are with parents, families, and communities who are grappling with the harm and confusion of yesterday’s events on top of the suffering caused by the dual pandemics of systemic racism and COVID-19. My thoughts today are especially with our Global Majority communities. No child or person in America should experience terror like we saw yesterday – yet sadly, such terrors are systemic and have become all too normalized. While the trauma inflicted is widespread, Global Majority communities are disproportionately impacted, and the systemically racist response causes further trauma and is unacceptable.
As parents and educators, we must make sense of these events for ourselves, as well as support our students and children as they grapple with them. Our students will look to us for reassurance in coming days and weeks. I encourage you to take advantage of helpful resources like this one to support difficult conversations with students about yesterday’s events, and the traumatic events and circumstances that have occurred over the past many months.
In this moment of national pain, I could not be prouder of our state’s charter public schools. Washington state charter public schools are rooted firmly in the values of equity and civic-mindedness and are particularly well-equipped to navigate conversations with clarity and courage. Across our schools, educators and leaders are utilizing social emotional learning tools to support families and students at all grade levels.
What unfolded yesterday was neither a demonstration of leadership nor freedom of expression. It was violent insurrection. A hallmark of our democracy is the right and responsibility to disagree without interfering in our democratic process. Those who incited and carried out the attack on our Capitol on Wednesday must be held accountable.
I have deep faith that our democracy will prevail, and I also know that healing will not come quickly or without meaningful action. Therefore, WA Charters has co-signed this statement with partners from throughout the region condemning yesterday’s events, and we affirm our commitment to ongoing participation in dialogue and action that promotes justice in our schools, communities, and nation.
Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Together, we can overcome.
Yours in solidarity,
Patrick D’Amelio, CEO
Washington State Charter Schools Association