As I shared last week, the South community is undertaking a broad effort to ensure our community is inclusive and welcoming to all. Our first steps, the analysis of student survey results and a series of lessons taking place in history and English classes, has sparked rich conversations as students grapple with the impact, rather than the intent, of their words.
Students have been reaching out — to faculty, administrators, and one another — as they seek to make meaning of these lessons and conversations. In turn, we have been working with students to address specific issues that have surfaced, with an emphasis on education and repair. I am heartened that our students are undertaking this conversation with such honesty and that they are willing to engage openly as they examine our community, and the role they play in making it safe and supportive. As they listen to one another, they question. This is a sign of a healthy community that is striving to understand our differences, and to create room for all to feel included.
Our faculty is listening closely, and looks forward to tailoring our remaining workshops in response to student voices. As one teacher wrote to me: “I hope that by shining a light on these issues that have been in the dark for far too long, we are making steps toward building our community into the kind of place we all want to see.”
We encourage you to continue the conversation with your child about how he or she is experiencing South, and to offer support as he or she develops an understanding of how to contribute to a rich, vibrant and nurturing community. If you have any questions or if you feel your child needs any additional support, please contact his or her Dean or guidance counselor. I look forward to continuing to update you on these important efforts.