Greetings Gunston Families,
“Progress, not perfection” was a phrase I would often say last year, while we were navigating our recovery from the pandemic. But that sentiment does not only have to be a form of encouragement for pandemic times, it’s a good phrase for the present. And it’s a good phrase for today! Four 8th grade students organized a walk-out during TA in opposition to Governor Youngkin’s draft policy guidance with regards to protections for transgender students. Today’s protest was well organized and peaceful. And it was different from the walk-out that occurred last year. Hence, my thoughts about progress.
We want middle school students to recognize the power they have to make changes in the world, we want to be good about giving them space to practice using that power, and we want students to develop leadership and organizational skills. Today’s walk-out was an opportunity.
With respect to the topic, whether students agree or disagree with the proposed changes, I want all students to know they are welcome at Gunston. I say every morning during the announcements, “You have the right to be at peace at Gunston, and the responsibility to behave peacefully.” All students’ progress towards peace was on display today. You should be very proud. I know I am.