I had some interesting, eye-opening moments occur this past week. It’s not like this doesn’t happen every week, but this particular week was rather overwhelming. On some level, it has to do with the recent Poetry Slam, put on annually by our English department and delivered by our Sophomore class.
The words, the ideas, the emotion.
They’re all so raw, so real.
So very… our teenagers.
There’s something in these poems that moved me to my core,
And I feel like there needs to be a response.
The second significant experience I had took place in a classroom. Our students wanted to talk to me about my response (really, our collective response) to a concern they witnessed when Erika Sanchez, our guest author, was visiting. Without getting into details, my conversation with these remarkable, honest, thoughtful, angry, scared, hurt young people, made me wonder if we’re focusing on the right things. And even as I type this, I know we’re not. Not as much as we could be.
They worry about staying safe while in our care.
They wonder why we don’t spend more time doing something about mental health.
They stress over our laser-like focus on things like attendance, cuts and tardies,
Rather than issues of well-being, racism, and belonging.
They doubt we actually listen to them.
Let’s have some conversation around these issues. And then let’s take action.
Let’s do what’s right for our kids and our adults.
Let’s Do What’s Right.