On 1/7/21, Chancellor Richard Carranza sent the following letter of support to DOE staff members in response to the disturbing events that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Included in this letter is a link to free academic and mental health resources that are available to teachers, students, and families on our InfoHub—we encourage you to look through our list of resources, as they can help New Yorkers, especially our students, process and discuss the events of 1/6/21.
Like so many other days in the past ten months, yesterday we experienced an alarming and frightening moment that was unprecedented in our lifetimes. And like many of you, I was shocked and sickened to witness the armed insurrection that led to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, forcing evacuation of elected representatives doing their job representing us in Congress, and the desecration of the halls of government. It is one of the darkest days in the history of our nation. It fills me with sadness and anger.
I was equally disturbed by what I saw as the response of law enforcement, who apparently allowed the entry and later the peaceful dispersing of these violent rioters. The lives of countless Black Americans have been lost for profoundly less threatening actions that what we saw perpetrated today.
My heart breaks to know that our young people have witnessed this violent assault on people, property, the rule of law, and on our democracy itself—met by a response that illustrates our nation’s troubled past and present.
Today, tomorrow, and beyond, you will have the opportunity, and responsibility, to acknowledge and discuss these events. Staff members and students will be looking to you for reassurance, guidance, and leadership. And as you must continue to be anchors for your school communities, we will remain here for you.
Here is a link to resources for teachers, students and families, including ways to facilitate discussion in class about these events. You will also find important resources to support mental health and wellness during this trying time.
You are essential to the functioning of a healthy democracy: educating and supporting our children, preparing them to contribute to their communities and country. We stand together with you, for our students, today and every day.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any other needs, concerns, or questions.
Richard A. Carranza
Chancellor, NYC Public Schools