At Tulsa Public Schools, we live by our values: equity, character, excellence, team, and joy. We believe that our diversity is a community treasure, and that we must foster an inclusive environment by examining biases and resolving unfair practices. We are honest, trustworthy and have high standards of behavior, and while we do not always agree, we treat one another with kindness and respect. We do the right thing even when it is hard. We face difficulty with courage and have the moral fortitude to act in accordance with our beliefs. We care for one another, support one another, and work together to improve our community. We ensure that our schools and classrooms are places where children feel safe, supported, affirmed, and appreciated.
In the wake of the results of our presidential election, our children may have questions, concerns, and fears about the future of our country and the safety and security of their families and friends. Our children hear and see the same things on television that we do, and they are looking to us for answers, reassurance, and support. As educators, we have to do our best to assuage their fears and address their concerns, but we must also acknowledge the kernels of truth in what they may be hearing and give them the support and tools they need to process the information they’re receiving. We also need to make sure our kids know that no matter what, they are safe with us – that their homes, schools, classrooms, and communities are still safe spaces, that we are watching out for them, and that we will do all that we can to keep them safe.
As a city, we mirror the country in diversity of opinion and political leanings, but I know that we are united in our commitment to the best interests of our children. We must be vigilant in preventing and addressing bullying and harassment in our learning communities – both real and virtual. Equity, character, excellence, team, and joy are the values and intentions that guide how we live, work, and interact with each other and with our community. Regardless of what’s happening in our larger world, Tulsa Public Schools is still a place where everyone is valued, celebrated, appreciated, and affirmed, and that has not changed. We must continue to model these values for our children and set the expectation that they strive to live these values with us.