Message from the Superintendent about Conflict in the Middle East

 

In LCPS, I and our entire team strive to ensure that our schools are places where students and staff feel safe. Sadly, in the world around us, safety is not always guaranteed. The horrifying and tragic events unfolding in Israel and the Gaza Strip have once more illustrated that reality. As educators, we are especially and deeply troubled that children have been the victims of violence. Our thoughts go out to the people of this region and to their loved ones.

 

Our community is a diverse one. We are strengthened and enriched by this diversity, and we honor it. We also acknowledge that, because of our diversity, this violence, while far away from Loudoun County, still impacts us. All of us may react to these unfolding events differently, just as we do to other events in our own country and across the world. We may experience fear, anger, a sense of hopelessness or a desire to bring about change. In every instance, it is critically important to recognize that no matter what is happening in the broader world, LCPS remains committed to ensuring our school communities are safe and that our students, staff and families have the support and resources they need to navigate through challenging feelings and conversations.

 

In these moments, know this: we will not tolerate any member of the LCPS community being threatened or feeling endangered based on who they are. LCPS denounces all forms of discrimination, harassment or violence, including hate speech, acts of racism, antisemitism, islamophobia, and hatred in any form. We are committed to maintaining welcoming and respectful spaces where everyone feels valued. We are also dedicated to providing safe environments for our students and learning environments where students may appropriately discuss current events and where all community members feel secure.

 

If students or families need additional support, we encourage you to speak with your child's school counselors, social workers, psychologists or other trusted adults. School staff are specially trained to provide resources and support, especially in the face of challenging circumstances. And we invite you to reach out to the Unified Mental Health Team at your student’s school at any time. We also are sharing resources for you to consult that help you talk with your student about what is happening and to combat bullying:

 

We will continue to ensure that LCPS is a place where every student and staff member feels safe and welcomed. We appreciate your support and engagement as we move forward together in support of our students, staff and community.

 

Sincerely,

Aaron Spence, Ed.D.

Superintendent

 

Posted on October 31, 2023