Dear Finneytown Families and Staff,
I’ve worked on this letter all week. It turns out that I just don’t have the words to express the depth of my feelings about the attack on the Capitol building and the people in it earlier this week. It is a terrible mark on our history and something I hope is never allowed to be repeated.
There are many theories and stories going around about what happened and why. I’m not interested in stories or theories. I am appalled by the event and support swift and severe actions on those involved. I am hoping a message is sent that peaceful protests are a constitutional right but acts or terroism are not to be tolerated, regardless of who the perpetrators are.
I ask that any and all discussions in school by staff or students, be based on fact and not opinion or supposition. We are not the people who will determine the outcomes of this event. Everyone is entitled to our own thoughts and opinions and I would encourage you to put those in writing to your legislators and even as a letter to the editor. I do not condone espousing opinions in schools to sway others to side with you.
There can and will be discussions in classrooms because it is so outrageous to think something like this would occur in the nation’s capital of such a mighty first world country. Questions will be asked and concerns will be voiced. That is all good. We must all remember to answer with whatever facts are actually available and not make conjectures about what did or should have taken place. We should not place blame on anyone other than those arrested. This is a situation that can allow us to give students facts to form their own opinions.
I’m sure in the coming months we will hear many renditions of what might have been the causes and happenings. Again, we are an educational institution. We need to deal with facts. We are not the news dramatizing and creating our version of what happened. We need to keep our opinions to ourselves at school. Children and adults need to be able to voice concerns and questions. Once presented with the facts as we know them, they can form their own opinions and discuss with their families.
I would also encourage that we emphasize to ourselves and the students that you cannot believe everything you hear in the news, on the Internet, or from everyone around you. Again, this is a devastating event in our country that will be remembered for a long time. The whole story will come to us a piece at a time and we have the rights given to us by the Constitution to form our own opinion. This is the very same Constitution that this attack on the Capitol threatened. It is a great opportunity to discuss the Electoral College process and the final process that was occurring that day and finished later that day as Vice President Pence finalized it.
It is also a great time to discuss what the second amendment rights are and what the boundaries are as have been dictated by law. It is a great time to encourage us all to stand up for what we believe in, but to do it the right way. None of us has the right to take away the rights of other people, regardless race, sex, religion, political beliefs and other differences or despite how much we may disagree with them. The Constitution protects the rights of each and every individual!
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
Superintendent Terri Noe