SPS Civility Statement

SPS Civility Statement
Posted on 10/20/2021
be kind imageThis past week, Dr. Zrike issued a statement about civility. You can read that in it's entirety here:

Nationwide, we are seeing an uptick in anger, conflict, and general negativity that affects all of our Salem community. I am seeking the support of our community to help us to promote civility across our city and schools. Sadly, our society continues to be bombarded by negative messages on social media, on television and in the news that promote exclusivity, hate, discrimination and violence. In some cases, our students have acted on, emulated or video recorded these behaviors, which can be incredibly destructive to the culture of belonging that we are growing in the Salem Public Schools. It is important to note that the vast majority of our community speaks up about creating the community we seek, including our students as they thoughtfully advocate for their future.

We need our entire community's support to teach our students what respect, kindness, and empathy look and sound like (this includes how we interact with each other as adults). We must model and strictly enforce the principles of inclusivity which should be the hallmark of strong communities.

Please help monitor what your child views and communicates on social media, offer feedback on the language they use when speaking to their friends, siblings, and peers, and guide them through how they navigate conflict. While the pandemic continues to be challenging for so many, it should not be an excuse for any members of our community to act in ways that diminish others.

We appreciate your partnership and collaboration as we prepare our children to be thoughtful and productively engaged citizens who are prepared to lead positive change in our city. One way to start on that journey is to have your family accept the #SPSkindnesschallenge (see below) by sharing videos showing kindness in action across our community. We also wanted to share the following resource with you- www.commonsensemedia.org/social-media- which offers guidance on how to speak with your children about sharing, posting, and responsibility using technology.

As always, we appreciate the opportunity to work closely with our families to provide our students with the educational experience they deserve.
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