May is here and although I’m personally battling a bad allergy season I’m happy to start getting some more consistent warm weather and to start spending more time outdoors. Definitely take a little time to go out and take advantage of the longer daylight hours and get active. We have to continue to nourish our mental health and physical health as best as we can to keep us going through the remaining part of our school year. There has been a slight uptick in COVID cases in our counties here on LI and in the district as well. Besides optional mask-wearing in unventilated areas, don’t forget all the other great hygiene practices like hand washing, that helped us over the rougher times, let’s do our best to stay healthy. Lastly, there are so many pressing issues that are at the forefront of our daily lives and that of our students.
I am writing this message a couple of days after the tragedy at the TOPS supermarket in Buffalo. As plainly as I can say it a teenager armed with white supremacist ideologies and military-grade assault weapons took the lives of 10 people and injured 3 others. The firearm had racial epithets and insignias on it. It is impossible to ignore that this is an act of terror and that this young man was armed with hate wrapped up in false conspiracy theories. We have to do better as a country to spread truth, to push for appropriate gun control measures, to be anti-racist, to speak up when we see and hear misinformation, to call out dangerous platforms that spew bias, and rhetoric that some take and act on. It seems that inequity, bias, anger, and hate seem uncontrollable and unchecked at times. We can do something other than send thoughts and prayers. We can help by simply being advocates and allies for our communities, our colleagues and our students that are targets of any kind of hate and bias. Why speak up? Because your voice is powerful, and your silence on issues of bias and hate can give consent to those that think you agree with them or don’t care. I’ve said it before on other issues and I’ll say it again, we need to look out for each other.