Oct. 17, 2023
Dear Poudre School District community,
Everyone belongs in Poudre School District. It is our commitment to create spaces of connection and belonging in our schools where people care about one another and provide comfort to those who need it. Wherever they go in PSD, students and adults alike should feel safe and able to show up as the unique and valued people that they are.
Words feel insufficient to express our heartbreak over the lives lost and irreparably changed because of the war between Israel and Hamas. As much as we may all be affected to some degree by acts of violence that happen here or around the world, there are children and families in our PSD community who are personally traumatized by these events and the horrific images and videos being shared widely through news coverage and on social media platforms. There are children and families who feel additional impacts of fear, loss, and grief because of their identities, generational trauma, and personal connections to Israel, Palestine, Judaism, and Islam, and they may experience additional stress, anxiety, and worry as this war continues. We see you, and we are here for you. You belong in PSD.
We know that our Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish, and Muslim students and families may fear or experience increased anti-Semitic and Islamophobic rhetoric and acts as this war continues. We are firmly against any harassment or discrimination. If you experience any form of harassment or discrimination, you can report this through the PSD Incident Reporting platform.
I encourage students who are directly impacted to reach out to a trusted adult. Parents and guardians: Consider sharing any concerns with your school's team so they can work in partnership with you to care for your child. On Oct. 13, the district sent resources to all staff to equip the adults in our school system to best support one another and to support our children and young adults who may be navigating a range of emotions.
As a community, let’s be diligent in identifying and standing against any antisemitism or islamophobia in our community. Let’s continue to stand together in unity, peace, and respect as a community. Let’s reach out to neighbors and loved ones impacted by this violence to share in the grieving, empathize and spread kindness. The following are some additional action steps and resources to aid you in connecting with others.
- Ask - Ask people how they are doing.
- Listen - Listen actively, pay attention to what they may need or are asking for.
- Connect - Connection can be life changing and bring a sense of belonging to our PSD community. Sometimes all we need is to connect with another person. Other times, if we are worried about someone’s well-being or safety, we also need to connect people to resources including a trusted adult and/or counselor at school. Be sure to follow up as needed.
More resources are available on the Mental and Behavioral Health Resources web page.
Talking to Children about War (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
Thank you, PSD community, for your continued care for each other and your efforts to create spaces of belonging.