Superintendent's message regarding events at the US Capitol
January 6, 2021
Dear Gates Chili School Community,
I am outraged at what transpired in our Capitol today. What we saw was not a peaceful protest. What we saw was a group of rioters attempting to subvert our democratic principles. It was violent, it was unjust, and a far cry from the First Amendment rights we are all guaranteed as Americans.
As educators, we must ensure that our students understand that what happened in our U.S. Capitol today is abhorrent. We have spoken to children from a very young age about violence and how it’s never the answer. Today’s actions were egregious and contrary not only to the conscience of our nation, but also the Spartan Way values we hold dear at Gates Chili.
Here at home, we have invested many hours into making a positive change in our district, to bring us closer to equity and an increased awareness of social justice. Later this month, we will be sharing our strategic plan for equity at Gates Chili. Part of that document includes a moral imperative we adopted this fall. That statement, which resonates particularly loudly with me today, reads in part: “The Gates Chili Central School District has a moral duty to serve its students and families...The district acknowledges the presence of white privilege and bias and how this perpetuates systematic racism.” We must demand better and continue the tireless work of supporting our democracy. Our children deserve to live in a country that allows freedom of speech while supporting civil and passionate debate.
Let’s continue in this journey by engaging our students in important discussion to learn from today’s events and what we can do to be part of the change for good. I invite you to reinforce messages of safety and support to our students. Seeing pictures or video of today’s events can cause anxiety and concern. If students need help processing today’s events, rest assured we will make the appropriate staff available to assist them. As always, please contact any of us if you have questions, concerns or are in need of any additional supports.
Our community of Spartans is strong, and we will get through these difficult times together.
Christopher J. Dailey
Superintendent of Schools