Supporting students and families during Derek Chauvin trial
This is a message for parents and guardians of students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District.
(03/21/2021) Schools are reflective of the communities they serve. When topics are discussed in the community, it’s likely that students and staff are having discussions about them at school. In the weeks and months ahead as national and international media focus on Minneapolis with the trial of Derek Chauvin, discussions about social justice, racial equity, and policing will most certainly be present in our school communities.
This message is sent to assure you that Anoka-Hennepin is preparing our schools to provide the most support they can for students and families during this time, and encouraging dialogue and understanding. Schools must be safe and welcoming to ensure learning opportunities for students.
The events surrounding the trial may also serve as a source of new or renewed trauma for some students and bring forward strong emotions. Frequently, parents and guardians have asked for additional resources to support their children. Anoka-Hennepin has identified these resources from the National Association of School Psychologists, ADL (Anti-Defamation League), the University of Pennsylvania and Britannica to guide discussions with students:
- Managing Strong Emotional Reactions
- Talking with students about race and racism
- Talking to students After Racial Incidents
- How to Talk to Young Children About the Police
While some students and families will watch the trial unfold on television and/or social media, others are more directly involved through family or friends. Understanding this, our district can serve varied roles in supporting students and families. Please contact your child’s school should you or your student be in need of support.
There is no place for discrimination or racism in our schools and Anoka-Hennepin schools remain committed to actively building equity and opportunity for all students. Every voice matters. Also, please don’t underestimate the influence our parents/guardians and the entire community have in modeling behaviors to help with the needs of our students.
Thank you for your ongoing support of our students and schools.
David Law, superintendent