Although you recently received our warm welcome to the new school year in the PMFS summer packet, I want to connect with you all now as we face the aftermath of the horrifying events of Charlottesville.
At PMFS, we stand strongly with all those who will not stand for hate and ignorance- whether in the form of racism, white supremacy, or anti-Semitism- and support the Friends Council on Education statement on Charlottesville (click here or below to read
). PMFS is proud to be part of the network of Friends schools, sharing a long history of simple yet radical commitment to respect for difference and diversity.
In the wake of this overt violence and hatred, it is easy to feel afraid and overwhelmed at the work there is to do. A few months ago, an activist friend of mine asked for ideas on finding inspiration and hope in the midst of despairing and enraging news. My answer was one word—kids. Your kids. Our kids. Children are learning how to view people, either as “other” or as complex beings who deserve attention and care. At PMFS, we will continue our mission of helping children, at a critical time of growth, see that of God in everyone they meet, not just those who think or look or act like them. We will continue to grow creative problem solvers who see multiple ways to approach math problems and world problems, passionate idealists who do not hesitate to stand up for better Gaga rules and social justice, and critical thinkers who do not accept the status quo.
At PMFS, we are committed to helping children become voices for the better future that we envision. We welcome you to continue these conversations at home in age-appropriate ways. And we thank you for working with us to reassure children in these difficult times that they are safe in their homes and classrooms and school community and that they are surrounded by people who love and care for them.
Inspired by our Quaker practices of listening to and learning from one another, we are ready to begin a new school year with children and families in just a few weeks. I welcome your questions and concerns as we co-create an empowered community and more just and peaceful world.