September 2021
An Open Letter to the Wayne Parents and Community

The start of a school year is such an exciting time for students: receiving a freshly-sharpened pack of pencils; shopping for back to school clothes; learning to navigate the halls and classrooms—all provide the opportunity to start anew, no matter what the previous year may have been like.

It’s easy to smile at the naivety of children and their willingness to shed the old and look forward to the new. As crazy as it sounds, we think they’re on to something…what if we, as adults, tried doing the same? What if we took advantage of the new school year and made a fresh start, too?

We don’t know about you, but we’re tired. Flat-out, hands-down, bone-weary exhausted. The ongoing stress that the COVID pandemic has wrought is difficult enough to face, but when it’s compounded by the constant anger, political rhetoric and general divisiveness of our society, it’s just about too much to bear. We have watched with dismay an escalation of social media attacks against educators and board meetings full of angry constituents. Our community has been the focus of many news reports—many of them unfavorable—as we try to navigate these difficult times, and it feels like the world is watching to see what we do next.

While it’s safe to say that these are issues which do not have any simple solutions, we believe there is a place to start. Like you, we want Wayne to be a place where our community’s children grow, thrive and succeed. To do that, however, we need to return to a time of civility and constructive conversation. We need to make a commitment to each other that we will strive to come together, find common ground and lead by example. This is not to suggest that we need to compromise our beliefs and values, but we can no longer afford to only operate in extremes. The energy we all expend remaining entrenched in our positions can be better served by finding ways to stand together, instead of standing apart.
Do not misunderstand: we are not suggesting that no one has the right to advocate for the causes they feel passionately about. But we are calling for an end to the vitriol that has gripped our communities, our state and our nation. We may have many differences, but the one thing we all have in common is our desire to do right by our children. They deserve to have all the adults in their lives treat each other with respect and tolerance, and anything less fails them.

If the world is indeed truly watching Wayne, let’s give them something to see.