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After the Election

Nov. 9, 2016 — A message from the superintendents of Eugene School District 4J, Bethel School District and Springfield Public Schools:

In the Eugene 4J, Bethel and Springfield school districts, we work to ensure that our schools are safe and respectful places for our students—ALL students. We are committed to providing a welcoming environment and keeping our focus on supporting student learning.

Many of our students came to school today with strong and varying feelings and questions about yesterday’s election outcome. Some are pleased while others are upset and genuinely frightened. Some feel harassed, fearful or discriminated against. Some feel marginalized or disrespected based on their political views. Unfortunately, this means that there is a greater possibility of behaviors and interactions that can be hurtful and inappropriate.

Whatever the political climate outside our schools, we work to ensure a safe and caring climate in our classrooms and hallways. We stand together in saying that:

• We will continue to promote kindness, compassion, and respect regardless of political views.
• We are clear that language and actions that are harassing or intimidating are not acceptable at any time.
• We will support students to speak their minds in appropriate ways, welcome all viewpoints, and disagree respectfully.
• We will help students collaborate, problem solve, and resolve their differences using positive language and approaches.
• We will work to bring our school communities together and maintain a welcoming environment where every student feels safe at school.

Please consider what you can do and what words you will use that will support these efforts. Let’s do our best to come together, work together, and show the rest of our country what unity looks like! Our children deserve the best we have to offer.

Gustavo Balderas, Superintendent, Eugene School District 4J
Chris Parra, Superintendent, Bethel School District
Susan Rieke-Smith, Superintendent, Springfield Public Schools

November 9, 2016

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