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JAJ Response to George Floyd

Dear John A. Johnson Elementary family,

 

I am writing to address the killing of Mr. George Floyd by Minneapolis police on Memorial Day, and the community unrest in the Twin Cities and across the country.

 

As a school community, we have been navigating the unexpected challenges of distance learning during a pandemic. We understand that much of the burden of additional responsibilities, academic oversight and juggling interruptions in work schedules. I expect that we have all been experiencing feelings of frustration, isolation, loneliness, and maybe even sadness, from time to time.

 

Now, we wrestle with the painful reality of the death of another African American man, George Floyd, at the hands of police. It is difficult to find the words to explain this to students, especially when we don’t have daily personal connections where we can create spaces to have these important conversations.

 

Underneath all the anger of what happened to Mr. Floyd is sadness and pain. There are no words that will make things right or better. George Floyd’s life matters. The legacy of his life and name matters. And we need to give our students unequivocal support, show them love and remind them every day that they matter. Social-emotional connections are vital, especially at times like this.

 

For that reason, we are providing some guidance for you on how to help support your students as they maneuver the feelings they have right now. If your student needs to talk, please encourage them to reach out to our social workers (Ms. Julie or Ms. Jill). Students are also able to connect with their teachers and support staff through Google Meets.

 

Thank you for your continued partnership and support.

 

Sincerely,

 

Elizabeth Cherek, Principal

John A. Johnson A+ Elementary