Dear BSD Community,
A recent internet post depicting the senseless beating of a 26 year old Delaware man who has special needs has captured national attention and drawn out much emotion. It should. Simply put, it is sickening behavior that cannot be tolerated. As someone who has kids in school and works with children for a living, I find it not only horribly disappointing but utterly deflating. With that said, events such as this provide our district, schools, staff, students, and families with an opportunity to self-reflect on our practices, policies, procedures, and relationships. As a district, we have implemented numerous programs to minimize and hopefully someday eliminate bullying and other inappropriate behaviors, such as piloting the innovative No Bully program in all nine of our elementary schools under the leadership of Assistant Superintendent Dorrell Green.
We must, as the adults who run and operate our schools, continue to strive for a district-wide school culture that celebrates diversity, promotes empathy and understanding, and encourages children to accept others for who they are. Students with disabilities are often the target of bullying, as are students who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender. It is our responsibility, in school and at home, to have age-appropriate and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about attitudes, behaviors, and caring for all people, not just those who are like us. We in BSD can help. There are resources available for parents, including school PTAs, the Brandywine Special Needs PTA, our wonderful and caring special education staff under the leadership of Supervisor Mark Mayer, and more. Please feel free to contact any of us at any time if you need information, guidance, or help.
We are fortunate in Brandywine that as a large comprehensive public school district, we welcome and educate all. That is our goal: ALL students. Yet, I am not naïve and recognize that we have plenty of work to do in this area. Let’s work collaboratively to shift the deflated and angry feelings we have when reading about this recent event and instead use it to springboard our efforts to create a caring, nurturing, welcoming, and loving environment for all students in the Brandywine School District, from PreK all the way through 12th grade.Sincerely,