Jan. 8, 2021: Superintendent's message about the events of Jan. 6
On Friday, Jan. 8, Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District Superintendent Peter Smith sent the following letter via SchoolMessenger to J-D families.
Dear J-D families,
The hope and optimism I had for 2021 took a big hit Wednesday as I watched angry mobs break into the U.S. Capitol in a violent assault on democracy. I suspect that you, too, were shaken as the attempt to derail our democratic processes goes against the values we hold close here at Jamesville-DeWitt.
The lack of civility, disregard for others’ safety, and the mentality that force and violence is acceptable when there is a lack of mutual understanding are all things that we as a school community do not condone. What we saw play out Wednesday is not acceptable. It is not okay. As a nation, we need to be better than that. As a school community, I believe we are better than that.
Here at J-D, we have committed to providing a safe, caring, inclusive, equitable and challenging learning environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. We are working tirelessly to shape our culture so everyone feels safe and supported. The insurrection that we witnessed underscores the importance of what our staff do each day as they interact with your children.
I’m sure our students are trying to process this new level of chaos as it’s layered on top of a life-altering pandemic and racial and social injustices. The events of Jan. 6 must have had an impact on our students as they try to understand, “What happened?” “How did this happen?” “What does this mean?” and “What is my role?”
As educators, it is incumbent on us to support our students and help them answer those questions when events of such significance occur in our communities and our nation. They need to know that bullying and violence should never be options despite what they may see or hear on television or social media.
We have shared resources with our staff to help them navigate these discussions, and I hope you find the following information useful as you have discussions at home:
I thank you for all you do for our school community as we address together these challenges that continue to come our way. I am confident that our actions and words today will help prepare our students to shape a society in which we can all be proud. Please continue to support each other and not lose sight that when we work together, we are at our best, and together, we are J-D.