Dear Underwood Families:
Recently, I have felt deeply saddened by yet another heartbreaking tragedy in our nation. As you are likely all too aware, the video of Tyre Nichol’s killing was made public this past weekend. Tyre Nichols was severely beaten by police officers after a traffic stop and died three days afterwards from the injuries he sustained. The week before, the nation also experienced heartbreak following news of yet another mass shooting during a celebration in California on the eve of Lunar New Year– a holiday celebrated by over 1.5 billion people across the globe that signals a new beginning for many, mainly focused around good fortune, happiness and health. The constant violence we encounter through the news and media images can take a heavy toll on all of us, and I recognize it has the potential to show up in our lives in any number of ways. Though I am unsure whether students are even aware of these horrific events or whether they will bring them up while in school, please know that teachers have been provided with resources they may find helpful to support members of our community.
What we see happening in our nation reminds me of the responsibility we share in developing racial and cultural awareness. By doing so, we are able to interact in more meaningful ways, build respect and empathy for others, and celebrate the similarities and differences of those around us. Through awareness and understanding, we equip ourselves to see more clearly the injustices that plague our community and ultimately become empowered to seek change. As we begin Black History Month in February, all NPS teachers and students are encouraged to celebrate and honor the history, culture and contributions of African Americans in their classrooms and school communities. Feel free to talk with your child/ren about what they are learning!
As we look ahead, Underwood families and friends are invited to join an upcoming PTO event on February 16, 2023 at 7pm entitled Community Conversations at Underwood: Let’s Talk About Race (Advantages & Disadvantages) where we will discuss what is important to know as we strive to become antiracists. At Underwood School, I am delighted that we find many ways throughout the entire year to celebrate who we are with the intention of effectively preparing students and ourselves for the world they live in. I am enthusiastic about partnering with you all in this important work.
Dr. Suzie Talukdar