Superintendent Brenda Cassellius shared a statement with BPS educators including some resources to help handle conversations with students about violence and terrorism.

Good morning Team BPS,

There are days that you know you will remember for the rest of your life — and January 6, 2021 is unfortunately one of those days. What happened yesterday in our nation’s capital was a complete and utter disgrace and a literal attack on our democracy. We all watched the horror unfold over the course of the afternoon and prayed for a peaceful outcome. Amidst the violence, four people lost their lives in the violent attack; our thoughts and prayers go out to their families. Our gratitude is for all who risked their lives to protect our leaders and staff in Congress.

Yesterday’s events were a stark wake up call that extreme political partisanship and an unwillingness to work together for the common good is dangerous to a healthy community and a healthy democracy. But this isn’t this first time our democracy has been tested and it will emerge even stronger as it has before. We will not allow hateful rhetoric and racist ideologies to continue to tear this country down. We will stand even more united and resolved to protect our democracy, a democracy that so many have sacrificed their lives to defend. We want a country where all are welcome, where differences are celebrated, where culture is honored, and where every child sees themselves for their full value. We cannot accept anything less. Our constitution says all are created equal. All means all — equally. We must live up to our American values, principles and promises of this United States of America.

This was yet another difficult day in what has been a very dark period in our nation’s history. As we prepare to welcome students back into classes, the team is offering the following resources which we hope will be helpful to teachers and staff. We encourage all to take the time to process as is appropriate in each class. I suspect many of our students will have many emotions. As educators, we must create safe, welcoming, inclusive environments for our students to express those feelings with empathy. It is sad that children have to experience this strife and additional pain during this pandemic, which only adds to the burden and worry they are already unfairly carrying.

The BPS Behavioral Health Department is available to support students who may be having a difficult time and the Employee Assistance Program is available to support City of Boston employees. Additional mental health resources and supports are also available here.

Let’s continue to hold onto our faith in each other and let go of any ill will as we look forward to better days ahead.


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