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A School Superintendent’s Message Home In Light of Trump’s Victory: Diversity Is Strength

| November 12, 2016

Children ages 6 to 10 performing 'God Bless America' in sign language at the an annual Diversity Day Observance at Eisenhower Hall, West Point. The observance included performances by the Cadet African-American Arts Forum, Native American Tribal Dance, Cadet Combat Salsa Club along with food samplings from various cultures. The theme was 'Diversity: The Road to Readiness.' (Kathy Eastwood)

Children ages 6 to 10 performing ‘God Bless America’ in sign language at the an annual Diversity Day Observance at Eisenhower Hall, West Point. The observance included performances by the Cadet African-American Arts Forum, Native American Tribal Dance, Cadet Combat Salsa Club along with food samplings from various cultures. The theme was ‘Diversity: The Road to Readiness.’ (Kathy Eastwood)

Jack R. Smith

I am writing to share with you how Montgomery County Public Schools is assisting our staff and students in processing the outcome of Tuesday’s presidential election. This election season has been particularly difficult. It caused a great deal of emotion among many members of our community. We want to take this opportunity to reiterate the values that are foundational to this school system.


Now that the election is over, it is our job to restate our core values as a school system—demonstrating that we respect and care for every person in our community. First and foremost, we must reassure our staff and students that our school buildings are safe places where we truly value and respect every single individual and do not tolerate bullying or hate speech. The diversity of our community and the many cultures, languages, and religions that make up our school system continues to be our greatest strength. We are better when we all work together, learn together, and listen to each other.

We must have open and respectful conversations about the lessons of living in a democracy. That is our commitment as educators, and on this day honoring our veterans, we will help students move forward in understanding our democracy and how our nation works and endures. We will teach our students the important principles that are the foundation of our nation and we will do all we can to continue to foster a culture of understanding and respect for everyone.

Our schools are a resource for families as well. Counselors are available to help students process any concerns or feelings they have about the election. Curricular resources have been provided to assist teachers in discussing the election. We will continue to draw on the expertise of the Equity Initiatives Unit to help forge stronger understanding of the many perspectives in our community, state and nation.

Ultimately, we must reinforce at every opportunity that our schools are safe places where students learn and where we all work together to build a community that values and respects every person.

Jack R. Smith is superintendent of schools in Montgomery County, Md.

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25 Responses for “A School Superintendent’s Message Home In Light of Trump’s Victory: Diversity Is Strength”

  1. Outsider says:

    Just what we need; another generation of daisies who will instantly wilt in the face of the slightest adversity. Just give them all a trophy and a safe space to hide from reality and all will be well. Both my daughters are a thousand times tougher than all of these snowflakes rioting on television.

  2. What happened to common sense says:

    What a crock. Trump won in Palm Coast by 20%, and this educator , and I use the term loosely, sends a message that because of the Trump victory he needs to reinforce his schools’ commitment to diversity and fair treatment for all. What a pompous azz. There is an expression in business that those that can’t do teach. This man fits that definition to a T. Maybe he should be more worried about why the education system in this country has fallen from the best in the world to a ranking of about 30 among countries. Academic achievement is second to safe spaces in this day and age. To be more specific, schools in this town suck. I don’t understand why taxpayers put up with it.

  3. Layla says:

    Why are some constantly trying to divide the country on this? Diversity has ALWAYS been our greatest strength, as long as it was done legally.

    We are the most diverse nation on the planet and that is not ever going to change, no matter who is in the White House.

  4. John F. Pollinger says:

    “Counselors are available to help students process any concerns or feelings they have about the election”.

    Seriously?

  5. Robjr says:

    It sounds like the first two posters are part of the Make America White Again movement.

    “You people” don’t get it and since you are part of “it” you won’t.

    Hate, bigotry, racism, sexism etc have been legitimized. Trump brought it out of the closet for white America to assimilate and condone. They now can proudly wear their metaphorical hoods and sheets without fear of reprisal.
    The rationale for their actions will be along the lines of: if the President can act that way then why can’t I.

  6. patriotism is alive says:

    No wonder there is bullying. When I was in High School someone gave you a problem you just settled it or ignored it. None of this stop wait my feelings are hurt. I didn’t vote for Obama but I can assure you I didn’t cry when he was selected, both times.
    And I want my tax dollars spent on education and not “feeling safe zones”

  7. liberal says:

    Outsider and Common Sense have it right!

    Trump was Voted in by the people. He did not overthrow the government.

    And yes, we are becoming a frail society. Make us weak, fear any change and we will accept whatever the government throws at us.
    It seems that our educators come here if they cant get a job anywhere else, and we hire them!
    Its good that some parents still teach their kids ‘after’ they get home from school.

  8. Lin says:

    Jack R Smith
    You need to get out of your bubble and see that to liberals and Dems, the diversity they promote is fake. We now have violence and riots because a segment of the population cannot accept another point of view.

    Were our schools good enough before the defeat of Hillary? No.

    Let’s all work to fix the issues affecting all Americans. Nothing got better under Obama. Clear your mind of the nasty picture of the Trump voters and created by the media and coniving politicos. Give the President-elect a chance. I’ve never seen such tantrums and immaturity in my life after an election. Crazy the rioters are tearing apart a country they profess to love. And Obama’s silence says a lot. There is diversity but you don’t want to hear it.

  9. jasonb says:

    Who are these educators trying to reassure … the children, or themselves?

  10. Ken Dodge says:

    Cadet African-American Arts Forum, Native American Tribal Dance, Cadet Combat Salsa Club . . . diversity to be sure. But how about putting Unity first? What happened to ‘United’, as in United States of America? As in Liberty for ALL?

  11. woodchuck says:

    Is it me or are the Clinton supporters treating Trump being elected like 9/11 World Trade Center bombing?

  12. Jw says:

    One man doesn’t make our country. I was for trump butt trump is not America . The way we act and raise our kids and treat one another is America. The president won’t change palm coast or Florida or our schools or our neighborhood. You and I will. So quit worrying about trump and protesting him. Stand for your country and make it better everytime you wake up and step out into your community. Hold the door for a person, say thank you, encourage a child, show appreciation to the police. We can make this country great again not our president.

  13. jasonb says:

    How did Republicans treat Obama when he was elected …… By saying outright that they hoped he would fail, and that they would actively try to obstruct him from getting anything done, and by continuing to insinuate that he was not from America, indeed that he hated America, by continuing to say he was Muslim, by circulating memes that didn’t just border on racism, but were outright racist, you’ve seen those memes, the Obama’s as monkeys, Michelle Obama growing watermelons in back of the White house, you can’t pretend they don’t exist, we’ve all seen them.

  14. Sandi Sites says:

    Might be a good idea to read the entire article before responding, folks. “Jack R. Smith is superintendent of schools in Montgomery County, Md.”
    I do agree with him, however.
    Also, I must reiterate that I do not think much of people who hide behind pseudonyms. Do you believe what you are saying? If so, sign your real name.

  15. Flagler1 says:

    A new generation of little girls of both sexes.

  16. Layla says:

    RobJr, these things have never been legitimized and never will be. It is you who doesn’t get that and I didn’t need to demoralize and insult you to say that.

  17. Ron says:

    Liberal teaches are at fault.

  18. TylerDurden says:

    Generation snowflake 2.0

  19. Colleen Conklin says:

    Why such vile comments? Why so much anger? I had the pleasure this last week to attend a beautiful Veterans Memorial service at Bunnell Elementary School. A teacher I know came to share what was said to two of his immigrant students in the 3rd grade the day following the election. A young boy bounced into the room walked right up to both of them and proudly proclaimed “get ready and pack up because Trump is deporting you and your whole family, you’re out of here”. He said the fear of their faces was real.
    The article was from a Superintendent who recognizes that there are students who are concerned for their families, have a sense of fear and that some may be emboldened to say whatever they like. I believe the fear is unwarranted. I don’t believe Trump, a life long democrat is going to do half of the things he has said he’s going to do. He likes to win – at all costs. He said and did what he did to win. All the fear mongering and protesting is silliness but our President HAS said some horrendous things. And we must know that children have been listening to all of this for months now. This isn’t about toughen up, suck it up, or trophies for everyone. This is about emboldening a generation to just say and do whatever they want with no concern of consequences. Do any of you really think it’s ok for a kid to walk in to a classroom and tell other students “pack it up, you’re being deported” or calling other students “retarded” or telling girls “you’re to fat and ugly to matter”? It’s not ok. I have to believe it’s not ok with any of you. You wouldn’t want anyone saying those things to your children or grandchildren. That is ALL this article is about. He didn’t mention political parties, Trump or Clinton. He did say “our school buildings are safe places where we truly value and respect every single individual and do not tolerate bullying or hate speech. The diversity of our community and the many cultures, languages, and religions that make up our school system continues to be our greatest strength. We are better when we all work together, learn together, and listen to each other”. Do you not believe this? Is that not true?

  20. independentvoice says:

    Stop with this racism nonsense. Were there people who didn’t like Obama because he’s black? Of course. But most people were against him because of his policies in the same way they were against Hillary, Kerry, Gore and Bill Clinton who just happened to be white. They are against more government regulation and felt Obama was going to implement that. And with the ACA, he did. That was the fear and has been the fear of many on the right, regardless of race.

    Obama has deported more people than any other president (verified by Snopes), Doesn’t that make him racist??? But that gets little coverage because it wouldn’t fit the narrative. Obama was conspicuously silent on marriage equality until AFTER the vote came down (verified by Politifact).

    Does anyone remember how well the left treated Bush during the Iraq war? Oh, wait, they had rallies in which Nazi signs were posted. And they call Trump a Nazi. Isn’t that quite an insult to the millions of people who were murdered by Hitler? God forbid they get called out on that.

    And my comments in no way absolve anyone on the right. This is just to point out they hypocrisy.

  21. Lancer says:

    It’s a great idea! Can we get some money from the Clinton Foundation to promote it??

  22. Bethechange says:

    Guess it’s time to gloat. Classy.

  23. John says:

    Nothing more than liberal fanatics trying to indoctrinate children. How sick…reminds me of Nazi Germany trying to control the thoughts and beliefs of it’s citizens.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The ignorance of some of our people is scary and scarier still is the outright hatefulness and bigotry in some people’s heart. Who taught you this, you aren’t born with this vileness.

  25. Anonymous says:

    To all the Couch Developmental Psychologists out there, you may find All l Really Needed to Know l Learned in Kindergarten, a compelling read.

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