What I Know…

James Layman, Director, AWSL
May 25, 2022

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Another tragedy. Another senseless act. Another experience that creates fear in our system. 

I’m numb. My emotions are all over the place as I begin to wrestle with how do we (adults) support our communities through yet another horrific and vile act of violence?

The answer is, I don’t know.

I don’t know how we can promise it will get better.

I don’t know how we can ease the minds and hearts of students and our families.

I don’t know how we begin to unpack the trauma that this will inflict on our communities.

I don’t know how we have yet another difficult conversation with our communities.

I don’t know how we muster putting on the proverbial “brave face” and push forward. 

I don’t know how we reconcile with this being our “normal.” 

I don’t know that we can continue to place the moniker of #strong on yet another community. 

I don’t know how much longer we can throw the word resilient around and expect it to have the same meaning it once did.

I just don’t know…

What I know is that our communities deserve grace, patience, and love as we mourn, hurt, cry and be angry. 

What I know is that our students deserve to know they are loved, and worthy of love.

What I know is that every day I have an opportunity to put love into the world.

What I know is that I can acknowledge, honor, and validate the complexity of feelings and emotions that will continue to manifest in our communities.

What I know is that through the pain, there is good. Our students, staff, and communities… there still is so much good.

What I know is that educators throughout the country are forgoing lessons and taking opportunities to create a space for processing and reflection.

What I know is that each and every member of our school community (students, adults, educators, community members), need love, and to know they are important. 

What I know is that I can continue to monitor my words and actions and continue to commit to a life of creating a world where this no longer causes the “norm.”

What I know is our children need us to put them first. To create conditions, environments, and policies that allow their best interest to be actualized. 

What I know is that the world needs a collective hug, and needs time to just be. 

Ultimately, there is much more I don’t know than I do know. I write this as I sit in an elementary school preparing for a presentation. I see and hear the laughter and joy of these young people. Let us not take it for granted. Let us build a better world. Let us place love in all of our interactions. Let us be better.

I just don’t know….

  • Safety
  • school safety
  • school safety
  • mental health
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