Dear FCS Community,
I wanted to share a few thoughts about the devastating events that are taking place in our country. First, I recognize that I am not an expert on the racial issues present in our society, and I know that the feelings of frustration and helplessness that I've experienced these last few days are only a fraction of what many in our community (and on our team) go through on a daily basis. However, I feel something deep within that change must take place. The simplest actions--listening to and learning from individuals and groups--can start a long-overdue process. Together, we must have difficult and critical conversations to help us build a new foundation.
I also want to emphasize that now, more than ever, actions will speak louder than words. As we educators know all too well, our students will be watching and learning from how we respond to these issues. FCS has a Guiding Principle of Individual Student Growth. By definition, this is about growing students to their fullest potential. If we do not address societal injustice in our classrooms, if we do not give our students the space and tools to grapple with inequality, and if we do not prioritize nurturing empathetic citizens, then we will have stymied our students' full potential. We will have failed them, ourselves, and the community.
Over the next few weeks, I am committing to furthering my own educational journey on these topics. I plan to read, listen, and bring together people that have a deep understanding in diversity and inclusion pedagogy and practice. This is my commitment, as the leader of FCS, to begin to shift the dialogue and to grow a new reality with the desire of a safer, wiser, more empathetic, and transformative Franklin Community Schools.
One of the greatest privileges of being an educator is the opportunity to influence young lives in profound ways. It's up to us to ensure that we do so. I am looking forward to the next steps and I want to thank you, in advance, for joining this systemic change.
Dr. David Clendening