To say it’s been a difficult few weeks here in Baton Rouge and throughout the country doesn’t begin to describe what has taken place. It’s rare that I don’t have words, but the events that have recently taken place in my own backyard of Baton Rouge leave me at a loss for what I could possibly say that sheds any light to a very intense problem. As we struggle to process the violent events that have occurred here, in Minnesota, in Dallas, in Orlando, and in other places around the world, I am horrified and grief-stricken, knowing that so many of our Louisiana charter schools are serving students from communities that are directly impacted by violence and inequalities in our education, housing, healthcare, and justice systems.
As you prepare to open your classrooms to teachers and students in the coming weeks, I’m sure you’ll be thinking about how to have conversations about what has taken place. I see it as an opportunity for educators to lead in your communities on the very difficult issues of race and conflict. As we at LAPCS prepare ourselves for the next school year, including planning our annual conference, we too will think about what kinds of learning sessions would be helpful to you.
It’s true that education isn’t the sole solution to the issues that we face — we need reform in so many areas, including in the criminal justice system — but a great education can be a significant driver in ensuring that our children have a better, more peaceful future. We hope you will share with us your thoughts and best practices in your schools so that we can share with your fellow school leaders.
Executive Director, LAPCS