FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement from Commissioner Betty A. Rosa
The last two years have tested our resolve in ways that no one could have imagined or predicted. We saw sudden school closures, civil unrest, quarantine orders, and too many experienced the stress of caring for or losing a loved one due to the COVID-19 virus.
Across our state and nation, we continue to face tremendous challenges and disruptions. I know and recognize many of these issues stir strong feelings. While we may not always agree on how to handle these challenges, I remain hopeful we can commit to a return to civility and understanding toward one another.
Amidst the struggles and difficulties of the pandemic, we cannot lose sight of the fact that our children are watching and learning from our behavior. For the sake of generations to come, we must all look inward, reflect on our own actions, and ask ourselves whether we are setting the example we want our children to follow.
How can we do better? We can respect one another. A special effort to listen and understand divergent opinions can go a long way to resolving disagreements. We must acknowledge and take responsibility for how our actions affect others. We can be open to feedback even when we feel strongly about an issue while recognizing and appreciating the contribution of others. Most importantly, we must address incivility head-on and show our children that we will respect and seek to understand each other as a way of supporting our communities and shared values.
President John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural address, “So let us begin anew—remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is subject to proof.” These words ring true today. Having seen news reports of parents and students disrespecting school officials who are working tirelessly to support the educational process, I implore you to be mindful of the example you are setting for our children. Remain civil, remain kind, and most importantly, respect each other.
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