FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement From Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr., the Board of Regents and Commissioner Betty A. Rosa on the Impact of the Israel-Palestinian Crisis on Our Students
In the wake of the crisis in Israel and Palestine, we convened education leaders from across the state to develop an educational community response that provides the resources to foster a civil discourse on the ongoing situation. Our hearts are with those impacted by the horrific events that began this past weekend. As a community of practitioners, this is a call on all of us in the face of these inhumane atrocities to keep the needs of our diverse student tapestry at the forefront of our work.
These attacks have brought about a wave of fear, uncertainty, and distress within our communities. It is paramount that educators play a supportive role during this difficult time. Our schools are safe spaces for students to express their feelings and concerns, have access to social-emotional supports, and foster an environment of empathy and understanding. Educators play a critical role in providing opportunities for open discussions about managing the trauma of the war in Israel and Palestine and helping students process their emotions and gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of this sensitive topic. Additionally, it is imperative that our school communities offer resources such as counseling and mental health support to help students cope with any stress or trauma they may be experiencing and how to handle the trauma of this war from afar. The State Education Department will be working closely with stakeholders in the coming days to disseminate resources for educators to assist with these conversations.
Hate has no place in education. We rely on our educators to actively promote inclusivity, tolerance, and respect for all individuals, regardless of their beliefs. By incorporating educational resources that encourage critical thinking, empathy, and global awareness, we can promote a culture of acceptance and appreciation for diversity. Working together to instill these values in our students, the education community as a whole can contribute to a more understanding society where conflicts are resolved through dialogue and mutual respect. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
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