Lindbergh responds to George Floyd’s death and protests

About+60+protesters+with+a+range+of+colorful+signs+lined+both+sides+of+Gravois+Road+in+Affton+June+6+to+show+support+for+%E2%80%98Black+Lives+Matter%E2%80%99+and+against+racism.+Some+drivers+passing+by+raised+their+fists+in+support.

Photo by Erin Achenbach

About 60 protesters with a range of colorful signs lined both sides of Gravois Road in Affton June 6 to show support for ‘Black Lives Matter’ and against racism. Some drivers passing by raised their fists in support.

Lindbergh Schools Superintendent Tony Lake sent an email to district parents last month responding to nationwide protests about the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck. 

Outrage over Floyd’s death led to more than a week of nationwide protests, including in St. Louis, and the school district sent the note to parents June 4.

In the letter, Lake said that his highest priority is to provide a “safe, caring environment for learning at all times,” not just when school is in session.

When our community is hurting, and our children have questions, we must address it and provide support,” Lake wrote. “Our children look to us for how to respond during times of crisis. Though our campuses are closed, we still have a moral obligation to create safe spaces to discuss race, inequity, and current events with our children, and now, to help parents and guardians do the same at home. Our kids may have heard about or even seen the appalling video of Mr. George Floyd’s death, and the protests and riots that have followed. Our goal is to provide students with the necessary support to understand these acts of protest and deeply rooted anger and pain.

“Events unfolding in our nation remind us that our students and families may live next door yet exist in very different worlds. We must speak up when we hear or see something that we know is not right, and teach our children to do the same.”

Lake said that school counselors, social workers, teachers and administrators are available for students who need them.

“They work daily to ensure that students of all cultures, backgrounds and perspectives are provided an environment and resources necessary to reach their greatest potential,” Lake wrote.

He offered the following resources for talking about Floyd’s death and the resulting protests with children:

Lake also referred to Lindbergh’s work on equity and diversity.

“Lindbergh’s school principals and district administrators have spent the 2019-20 school year digging deep, and working together to become more aware, engaged and better leaders on issues of equity. Our work has only just begun, and we know that it is far from finished. But our mission, the reason why we exist, is ‘Excellence in Learning. Designing the Future.’ We work tirelessly to build excellent learning experiences and successful futures for all students, that takes into account skin color, background and ability.

“We believe that a diverse community of students, employees and families contributes to an environment where all are supported and individual strengths are developed. We must foster a community of belonging and remember that we need one another – especially during this extremely painful time in our nation. If we can help in any way or provide additional resources, please let us know.”

 

Read the full letter below:

TALKING TO CHILDREN ABOUT NATIONWIDE PROTESTS

June 4, 2020

Dear Lindbergh Families,

Over the past week, we have watched events unfold in our city, state and nation that are both heartbreaking and challenging. As your superintendent, my highest priority is to provide a safe, caring environment for learning at all times, not only when school is in session. When our community is hurting, and our children have questions, we must address it and provide support.

Our children look to us for how to respond during times of crisis. Though our campuses are closed, we still have a moral obligation to create safe spaces to discuss race, inequity, and current events with our children, and now, to help parents and guardians do the same at home. Our kids may have heard about or even seen the appalling video of Mr. George Floyd’s death, and the protests and riots that have followed. Our goal is to provide students with the necessary support to understand these acts of protest and deeply rooted anger and pain.

Events unfolding in our nation remind us that our students and families may live next door yet exist in very different worlds. We must speak up when we hear or see something that we know is not right, and teach our children to do the same. Even when we don’t know what to say and we don’t have the answers, we can invite our children to talk and ask questions to build a better awareness and understanding about the complexities of race and racism.

Today, I want to empower our students, families, and staff and provide resources to help facilitate these important conversations. In addition, our school counselors, social workers, administrators and teachers are here to offer support. They work daily to ensure that students of all cultures, backgrounds and perspectives are provided an environment and resources necessary to reach their greatest potential.

Lindbergh’s school principals and district administrators have spent the 2019-20 school year digging deep, and working together to become more aware, engaged and better leaders on issues of equity. Our work has only just begun, and we know that it is far from finished. But our mission, the reason why we exist, is “Excellence in Learning. Designing the Future.” We work tirelessly to build excellent learning experiences and successful futures for all students, that takes into account skin color, background and ability.

We believe that a diverse community of students, employees and families contributes to an environment where all are supported and individual strengths are developed. We must foster a community of belonging and remember that we need one another – especially during this extremely painful time in our nation. If we can help in any way or provide additional resources, please let us know.

Sincerely,

Dr. Tony Lake
Superintendent