May 25, 2022 -- Message About School Shooting in Texas

Dear RSD Parents, Families, Faculty, and Staff:

It is unfathomable that I would need to be back in touch so very soon about another senseless tragedy.  As our hearts still hurt for Buffalo, we now face the loss of 19 beautiful children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. We grieve for the families and the Uvalde community and send our heartfelt love.

Schools are meant to be safe places for children to learn and grow and for teachers and other school personnel to work, build community, and support the learning and development of young people.  It is natural for this to be deeply unsettling, and all the more so in the context of rising incivility, violence, and open hatred in this country.  

I urge staff and families to take time to care for one another and to be open to individual responses and processing of this tragedy and to the questions and concerns children bring to us. I would also respectfully suggest that, to the extent possible, we limit exposure to media coverage, which will certainly continue for days to come.  Please do not hesitate to contact our mental health team if you would like help in how to best approach the days ahead and provide support to your students and children.  

As we care for one another, we must also remain vigilant about safety and threats. Please contact a school leader or trusted adult at RSD if you, your child, or your students become privy to information concerning a threat or potential safety risk at school. We are partners in this endeavor. Together, we want to care for anyone in need of support and avert crises that have any potential to threaten our safety.

I also want to assure you that the RSD campus has excellent security measures in place, and we continue to evaluate and strengthen them. Our school buildings are always locked, and our security team is well trained and vigilant.

I can’t help but feel that these words are inadequate at this critical moment, and I am sorry for that.  Please know that I hold the RSD community in my heart today, as well as the Robb Elementary School community.  

Antony A.L. McLetchie

May 16, 2022 -- Response to Buffalo Tragedy

To the RSD Community, 
Blue heart with a white buffalo and puddle of tears.  Text reads #BuffaloStrong
On Saturday, our neighbors in Buffalo suffered an unimaginable loss that was fueled by hate and racism.  I know that I speakfor the RSD community when I condemn this act, express my profound sadness, and convey my deepest condolences to the families involved and to the city of Buffalo.  
In a nation increasingly divided by politics and ideology, the time is now to work against hatred, white supremacy, and violent extremism.  We must find a way to end this evil.
It is a time for courageous conversations.  We cannot look away.  We cannot excuse our family members or neighbors who subscribe to conspiracy theories or harbor old prejudices. We need to bring hatred into the light and challenge those who espouse it.  We must understand the history of America and the oppression of people of color and engage in practices that are equitable and inclusive and celebrate the diversity of our nation.
As educators, we have the privilege and responsibility of working with young people as they make sense of the world we live in.  We must meet their questions with compassion, courage, and understanding. 
As you know, RSD is located in a predominantly black neighborhood similar to the one in Buffalo that was targeted and terrorized. This feels personal and very close to home. I encourage us all to be gentle with each other in the days ahead as we process this tragic event and learn more about the people lost to this senseless violence.  

Antony A.L. McLetchie