In the wake of the 2016 elections and the recent presidential inauguration I felt it important to emphasize that regardless of our political affiliation, as an AEA staff we stand united in our support for inclusion, tolerance, and creating a safe and nurturing environment for all students.  This fact will not change.  And clearly I am not the only school leader wishing to underline this commitment to students.  California State Secretary of Education Tom Torlakson sent out the following press release after the elections:

“I know that the outcome of the recent Presidential election has caused deep concern among many students and their families. The nation maintains a strong tradition for the peaceful transition of power. And I want to let all of California’s 6.2 million public school students know that keeping them safe from discrimination and bullying at our great state’s 11,000 public schools is a top priority. In California, diversity is strength. Our students come from all kinds of backgrounds, cultures, languages, and religions, and they all come together to learn on their way to success in 21st century careers and college. California already has, and will always maintain, strong legal and state Constitutional protections against any and all kinds of discrimination, regardless of a student’s race, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, or gender identity. And I want to tell young women and girls that they will always be safe, be respected, and be protected at school. As the proud father of two daughters, I know that girls can achieve anything, succeed at anything they choose, and earn the respect that they deserve every day at school, in the workplace, and in our communities. California moves forward, not back.”

As President Trump’s cabinet comes together through the senate confirmation process, and as political offices across the state and nation welcome new elected representatives, the moment is ripe for learning.  The AEA community–which is at its core an IB community–will take full advantage of this learning opportunity.