A statement to the community by APL’s incoming Executive Director Kelly Meyer

June 2, 2020 – Dear APL Community– students, families, faculty & staff, stakeholders & supporters, and members of the Board,

This has been a tragic and deeply unsettling weekend, one that has left me at times breathless with anger and frustration and in other moments renewed in my own convictions about the work we educators must do to combat the institution of racism in our country.

We are human beings who are, as Maya Angelou wrote, “more alike than unalike.” Black people in this nation are hurting. And there are members of our own Academy for Precision Learning community who are hurting. I spoke with groups of teachers and learned how they are hearing from students in their classes—concerns, fears, frustration, and confusion. It is hard to find the breadth of information required and the space to engage in it. I learned how our teachers are struggling too, balancing their own frustrations and sadness with the needs of their own families and students.

When we think of our ultimate goal for our children at APL, and for all children in the world, it is for them to become engaged citizens in their community, for them to find their voice and share it with the world around them, and for the world to become better for their being in it. We are teaching our students the skills to engage and act, to see and hear the stories of those who have been marginalized or silenced, to make change, and to put fear aside while lifting up those among us who have been held down.

As we are face to face with the ugliness of hate in our country, it is up to us to commit to an anti-racist mission and to actively work at dismantling the system of racism around us. It is also up to us to face the privilege many of us have been afforded because of the color of our skin.

For now, please know that our teachers, staff, and counseling team will do our best to support each of our students and their families as they process our current events—this week and into the future. Please talk with your children about protests and look for examples of the ways protest has led to meaningful change in our world. Help them see the helpers, as Mr. Rogers would say, who seek to lift up and heal their neighborhoods and communities.

We recognize that our APL family members of color and their white allies are grappling with these challenging issues. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Jennifer Annable, me, Alicia Nathan, or any of our teachers and staff to let us know how we can best support you. These are times when we are so grateful for the community, the family, that APL is. We are together, even when we are apart, and we see, hear, and hurt with our family members who are hurting.

I’ve shared some resources below to learn more — reading lists, social justice-empowerment websites, good films to watch, etc. 

“Things That Make White People Uncomfortable” by Michael Bennett, former Seattle Seahawk

Young Adult Adaptation of “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable”

Books About Racism and Social Justice

#BlackLivesMatter: K-8 Distance Learning Activities for Justice for George Floyd

Bringing Black Lives Matter Into the Classroom

Kelly Meyer (she/her)
Director of Lower School/ Director of Curriculum and Instruction
kelly@aplschool.org

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