Robbinsdale Area Schools

Response to the Events at our Nation's Capitol

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Guji badhanka ay ku qoran tahay "Ingiriis" dhinaca midig ee hoose ee shaashadda si aad tani ugu akhriso af Soomaali. 

Dear Robbinsdale Area Schools Families and Staff,

Yesterday was a day that none of us will forget for many years to come...if ever. This was not just another sunny, snowy Wednesday in January for any of us, no matter which side of the aisle we are on. 

There was a historic runoff election in Georgia that was being watched throughout our nation. It was also the day that lawmakers were to finalize the electoral college votes to recognize the winner of the 2020 presidential election. We knew that for everyone, Democrats and Republicans alike, the stakes were high and the tensions were building. 

What we didn’t know was that by the early afternoon, we would see our Nation’s Capitol overtaken. We never imagined that our country, our America, would see such an attack on our Democracy. This was traumatic for all of us to bear witness to and the images of the civil insurrection were almost incomprehensible. 

There’s no doubt that students will have questions about the events of yesterday -- just as we all do. 

Today, in classrooms across the district, many of our educators made space for students to process what they may have seen, heard or read about the civil unrest in Washington, D.C. You may have done the same thing with your children. Please know there are resources available to help navigate these difficult conversations. We also have skilled crisis management teams in our schools who can assist. 

Depending on their age, students express their concerns in a variety of ways. If your student hasn’t talked with you about what happened, pay attention to changes in their behavior, their appetite and sleep patterns. Resources are available for parents and caregivers from the National Association of School Psychologists. Please remember that we are here to assist you in any way we can. 

I know that the events of today will be lessons taught in classrooms for many years to come. Teachers will stand in front of their students and recount how in the year 2020 a global pandemic caused the death of thousands of Americans. They will tell their students that there was a national and global surge in the fight for social justice and racial equity, and that people continued to die as they pushed for these changes on behalf of the Republic. 

As the interim superintendent of Robbinsdale Area Schools, I’m often asked why I would agree to serve in this capacity during this unprecedented health crisis and knowing that some of the work we do on behalf of students would be filled with so many challenges, sometimes seeming insurmountable. My response has been and continues to be that I love Robbinsdale Area Schools. We have amazing students, families, staff and stakeholders -- like each of you. 

I have spent 14 years building relationships, partnerships and friendships in Minnesota. All of my children were born here, so my love for this community runs deep. So does my care and concern for each of you and the challenging work that is ahead in the coming days, weeks and months. 

Though the events of this historic January 6 are still unfolding, I would like to encourage you to take care of yourself and each other. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Stephanie Burrage
Interim Superintendent
Robbinsdale Area Schools

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