Supt. Almi Abeyta told the School Committee on Thursday night, Jan. 7, that the Chelsea Public Schools would use the attack on the U.S. Capitol building as a teaching moment for the children in the Chelsea Public Schools.
Abeyta made her statement during the Jan. 7 School Committee meeting, which was the first meeting of the year and featured the swearing in of members and the election of officers. The meeting was held remotely.
“Moments of disagreement or dissention will occur,” she said. “As educators, I encourage us to have courageous conversations with our students and teach that there is no place for hatred in our society. Our students are looking to us and how we respond – may we demonstrate leadership, empathy, grace and love during these turbulent times. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words resonate with us this day, ‘Hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that.’”
Abeyta said the events have left many feeling numb and sad, and the violence broadcast around the world on television – combined with the pandemic – makes it an extremely challenging time for everyone, including the children in the Chelsea Public Schools.
She said she is advising teachers to have appropriate conversations with their classes about the democratic process and how to resolve conflict.
“As educators we should use this opportunity as a teachable moment to have conversations with our students about the democratic process, how we can resolve differences and conflicts, and how we can address diverse and sometimes conflicting ideology,” she said. “We must teach our students that we can disagree without disliking and harming others. We must ensure that our students feel safe by providing respectful learning communities.”
She said they are stressing to students that the Chelsea Public Schools welcomes and educates all.
•SWEARING IN ONLINE
The School Committee also took the oath of office on Thursday from Assistant City Clerk Patricia Lewis, and elected Kelly Garcia-Mirza to her second term as chair of the Committee.
The vice chair went to Ana Hernandez, with the delegate to the Council being Rosemarie Carlisle and the delegate to Shore Collaborative being Henry Wilson.