Post Charlottesville Resources (to assist with conversations related to issues such as race, culture, socioeconomic status, gender identity, and religion) (Superintendent’s Memo #267-17, Virginia Department of Education)
The beginning of each school year offers students and staff members an opportunity to start a new learning journey. This year students across the Commonwealth are entering schools on the heels of widely publicized events in Charlottesville, Virginia. In order to provide guidance to students, school staff may be looking for resources to help students, educators, and communities have conversations about those events.
Students of all backgrounds are experiencing a time in which social justice is at the forefront of their everyday lives. Having conversations related to issues such as race, culture, socioeconomic status, gender identity, and religion is important. Yet, these conversations can be challenging as they may lead to conflict, sadness, discomfort, or anger.
The recent events of violence in the Commonwealth bring the need for these discussions to the forefront. As educators, we can work together to shift the conversation from hate and violence toward understanding and respect in our communities. This is a critical time for schools and families to work together to foster safe and supportive environments, to teach effective conflict resolution strategies, and to help children understand and manage their emotional reactions.
The compendium of resources provided in this document is intended to help support school divisions in engaging stakeholders in constructive dialogue around these issues with the ultimate goal of enhancing a climate that is welcoming, socially supportive, just, caring, nurturing, and respectful for all students and school personnel.