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Chris Goodwin: Letter from my child’s school principal:

Chris Goodwin 1

Firstly i do not think that it is unfortunate that children are made aware of the events of life, to the contrary, I think it is of utmost importance that they are aware. As for using these events as teaching opportunities, frankly I think that you are woefully incapable and the idea that you would attempt to concoct some lesson from this treads on all sorts of buttons. Last I checked your job was middle school education, not philosophy or foreign relations, not religion or human sexuality, but sentence construction, science, history and mathematics.

Chris Goodwin: FACEBOOK

Dear ******* Families,

We took a moment during our announcements this morning to remember the victims of the Orlando attacks. Unfortunately, our students are becoming increasingly aware of events of large scale violence, but I hope that we can use these moments as teaching opportunities. Middle school students may have many questions about tragic events such as this one, or they may have none. They may not quite grasp the implications of such an attack. They may repeat what they hear in the media. Some of them may not even know of the weekend’s attacks. Regardless of how they process such news, I’d like them all to know that we have supportive adults to help them as needed. Our counselors are available during both lunches and throughout the day.

We want to make sure that all of our students know that they are safe here to be who they are, and we support them in their rich diversity of ethnicity, identity and religion. At ****** we celebrate diversity, and we hope that at a moment such as this, we can reflect and work to increase the tolerance for and awareness of the gift of difference.

Sincerely,
****** **********

Honestly I am not sure what to make of this email.

Firstly i do not think that it is unfortunate that children are made aware of the events of life, to the contrary, I think it is of utmost importance that they are aware. As for using these events as teaching opportunities, frankly I think that you are woefully incapable and the idea that you would attempt to concoct some lesson from this treads on all sorts of buttons. Last I checked your job was middle school education, not philosophy or foreign relations, not religion or human sexuality, but sentence construction, science, history and mathematics.

The description of possible reactions and awareness seems to describe the entire US population and then we get to the frightening bit. They have counselors available during both lunches and throughout the day…. Let me address two points here, firstly anyone who sought a degree in psychology and possibly, hopefully, at least a masters and then ended up working as a counselor in a middle school is not someone I want explaining anything to my child. Secondly why is it that you suppose that your woefully inadequate counselors would be needed by children hearing of an incident in Florida? Honestly you can not get further away from Seattle than Florida without ending up in an ocean or crossing several international boarders.

Personally I would really like it if you just stuck to the basics my child is there for and stopped sticking your nose into every possible issue. I don’t hear you offering counseling about any presidential campaign speeches that children may have heard where those involved referred to Hispanic Americans as rapists and drug dealers. Or the censorship of the press or the rigging of voting, or Obama being compliment in the Orlando mass murder. What exactly is it that you think is your role middle school of my child?

Last year I discovered that your staff is legally entitled to remove my child from class and discuss with her any subject you see fit without my permission, further that the police may come to the school and remove my child without informing me until school is dismissed and they may interview her without reading her her rights and without my permission. A male counselor may take my girl into a closed room for as long as he sees fit and discuss her gender and sexual identity with no one else present and may forbid her to leave or contact a parent. Now you want to provide counseling in case they may have heard something about what is going on int the world in between active shooter drills where my child is instructed to hide in the corner and cover her face.

Well my child has been instructed to not answer questions from any of the school staff without her father or a lawyer present and simply to repeat that until one or the other arrives. I, for one, would like to know how it is that you are going to use this situation as a learning opportunity when the most powerful people in our country seem completely lost in it. Are you going with the radical Islam story or the closeted gay story, mental illness or jihad, 2nd amendment or gun control exactly what story are your counselors who are relegated to public middle school going to be trying to pump into my child’s psyche?

In the end, I discussed this with my child at length the day it happened and I continue to do so. Each new issue that is brought up I discuss with her at length, because if there is one thing that I know, it is that if I don’t discuss it with her, someone else will. Frankly it worries me a bit that I need to add her school to the list.


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