Sunday, December 15, 2019

Dec. 15 Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope this message finds you well.  I would like to begin by thanking the MPA for organizing the annual Holiday Cookie Bash for the McCall staff this Wednesday morning.  Thank you to everyone who contributed goodies to this event.  We really appreciate the treat and the holiday spirit this event brought to the entire McCall building.

I would also like to thank everyone who wrote to show support for the school and me in light of the most recent graffiti incident.  It is important to remember that these acts of hate are not just words painted on a wall or comments that were made in jest.  They cause harm to people who have faces, names, and feelings.  However, it is also important for us to remember that this act is not just about me and my race.  We must reckon with the difficult question of why racist behaviors and all forms of bigotry are happening at all.

This past week I met with our Team Leaders, members of the Student Wellness and Acceptance and Inclusion Committees about how we can effectively address these issues with our colleagues and our students.  We are working on creating an approach that would help our students grapple with the complicated issues of equity, social justice, and activism in a manner that is proactive and consistent.  We have to make sure we are not always responding to acts of bigotry, and that we are not relying only on “one off” activities that may lead students to think that racism is over and dealt with after they take part in that one activity.  Instead we are working on figuring out how to actively teach all our students about what prejudice is and how to respond to all acts of hate.  I see racism and all forms of prejudice as cancer.  The treatment has to be consistently delivered and we have to follow up on it from all angles.

Just like many of you, McCall faculty and I are appalled that racist behaviors like the one we experienced last week is still happening in today’s world.  However, it also is motivating us to improve and expand our practices so we are ready to help our students grapple with these complicated challenges.

Thank you for your continued support.

James Lin
McCall Middle School  

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