From Sand Point Elementary in Seattle, WA, to South Lakes High School in Fairfax, VA, violent, fear-inducing incidents on one day, suggest it is time to mourn — and then #dosomething more.
The PTA of Sand Point Elementary School in northeast Seattle, WA, is creating care packages for families traumatized by the killing of one of the school’s parents. Charleena Lyles, the pregnant 30-year-old mother of three, was shot to death by Seattle Police on June 18. In response, the Sand Point PTA was collecting notes of support, snacks, and bubbles or other items to entertain children. The packages were to be shared with residents of the Solid Ground Housing project where Lyles lived.
More on Sand Point and Charleena Lyles.
On the opposite coast, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society – or ADAMS Center – and related organizations were seeking support for terrified and grieving teens in response to an attack on teenage community members and the brutal murder of one. Seventeen-year-old Nabra Hassanen, a resident of Sterling, VA, was kidnapped and beaten as she and friends returned to the mosque for morning Ramadan prayers, on June 18, following a pre-fast meal at the local IHOP.
More on Nabra and teens.
Police say mental health issues led to Charleena Lyles’ killing, but local and national observers attribute the death to racial bias. Police say the murder of Nabra Hassanen was a matter of road rage. Many observers argue that anti-Muslim sentiment, as well as racial bias, fueled the incident.
At this point, I could repeat background on trauma and learning, or re-share information on extra stress that schools serving black and immigrant communities experience. I could remind listeners of the importance of addressing systemic factors in educational equity…. Or maybe I could shift this report to discussing the fact that, also this week, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos just chose the CEO of a private student loan company to head the federal agency’s student loan system….
More on DeVos and Arthur Wayne Johnson.
Instead, I feel compelled this morning to ask that we pause to consider the role that the state played in each of these deaths and to acknowledge the daunting task facing educators in communities facing such violent incidents and conditions.
We Act Radio and The Education Town Hall remain dedicated to providing information that helps listeners #dosomething.
Perhaps the first thing we need to do, at times, is to mourn.
See also Jesse Hagopian’s “I Am An Educator” blog and “Charleena Lyles, Mental Health, and a Pattern of Excessive Force by Police.”
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The Education Town Hall with Thomas Byrd
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