Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Principal's Newsletter

Good morning everyone,

Across the world, people are horrified by the murder of George Floyd, a murder once again demonstrating the cruelty, injustice and indignity that Black Americans suffer. I am sickened and outraged. It is impossible to wrap your mind about what happened during that video. That someone meant to protect would kill. That these officers’ saw George Floyd so much as other that they had no value for his life. No value at all. And if it had not been captured on video, it very likely would have been business as usual.

Parents worry about their children — it is what they do, but to worry that your child may be killed for jogging or walking down the street is unconscionable. I do not know what it means for my child to be viewed as suspect. I do not know that kind of worry, and that is a privilege. Systemic racism is a reality in our country, and it must be eradicated so all people can experience the fundamental rights our democracy guarantees.

In my heart, I believe we can achieve that by holding people accountable for their biases and crimes, but that is a struggle that Black Americans have always known in this country. I cannot begin to know the pain and exhaustion so many of our community feels. My heart is heavy, but yours are heavier. But I can tell you that I love you and care for you deeply. I love our students and care for them deeply, and this is not the kind of world I want us to live in.

As an IB school, we promote international-mindedness:

“International-mindedness is a view of the world in which people see themselves connected to the global community and assume a sense of responsibility to its members. It is an awareness of the inter-relatedness of all nations and peoples, and a recognition of the complexity of these relationships. Internationally-minded people appreciate and value the diversity of cultures in the world and make an effort to learn more about them.”

An important part of being internationally-minded is taking action against racism and injustice. Next week, staff will focus on their existing units to create ways to incorporate action, aligned to social justice as developmentally-appropriate. I look forward to sharing that work with you at the close of next week. In addition, Ms. Mack is generating a list of events and resources, which we are sharing with staff and now families. If you are interested in serving as a parent coordinator, please let me know. It would be powerful for us to take action as a school community.