Recent Events, and Talking to Children About Race
June 2, 2020

Dear Harbor Community,

As we move through our last week of school, having planned uplifting events and community connections for our students, there is a palpable feeling of dissonance that cannot be ignored.

With the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, the deep rooted racial injustice and bias in our country is on full display. As a community and as a nation, we are experiencing deep pain, anger and grief for these injustices and countless others before them. In light of this, and even as we are physically distant, I want to assure you that our faculty and staff is committed to anti-bias work and teaching our students respect for every individual, which is core to the mission of our school.

As parents, we often think about protecting our kids, shielding them from harsh injustices, pulling them into a cocoon to keep them untouched by difficult truths. And while exposing young children to certain images or facts would be too much, not talking about race and racial injustice is damaging. Even at very young ages, children pick up on subtle (and overt) messages more than we know - taking in messages through a brief image on a screen, the tone of our voices when we talk about events in the news, even characters absent from their stories or books. At the conclusion of this email, I include resources that may be helpful as we navigate these important conversations with our children at an age-appropriate level.

As for this week, children can experience school events in positive and happy ways, even as we try and help them to make sense of the layered and difficult realities of the world around them. I hope you will join me in emphasizing a sentiment we all need to hold onto right now - hope - and the ways that our community, even the littlest members, can make a difference through our actions and words.

Warmly,

Leah Musico

Head of School


Resources:

USA Today: George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. What do we Tell our Children?

Washington Post: Talking to Small Children About Race

NBC News: Parent Toolkit – How to talk to Kids about Race and Racism

Washington Post: Children’s Books Can Help Start Conversations about Race. Parents Have to Continue It.

Brightly: How to Talk to Kids About Race: Books and Resources That Can Help

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