Westgate Community School

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Principal's Corner

Dear Westgate Families,
 
In this time of 24/7 news, it is wise to pause and consider the impact this election could have on our children.
 
In this time of 24/7 news, it is wise to pause and consider the impact this election could have on our children.
 
The interest, the strong feelings and the rhetoric surrounding the presidential election has been ever-present, to say the least. But not just on TV or social media – people have been talking, which is almost always a GOOD thing.
 
Where it becomes challenging is when it takes place, without filter, in the presence of young children. Children are very perceptive. They may appear to be busy playing a game, or reading a book, but quite often they are listening, intently, to what their parents are discussing. And again, that can sometimes be a good thing. When it isn't good, though, is when the discussions are about issues that are beyond the ability of children to process. Or, maybe the language is blunt, and children can't yet understand sarcasm or when an adult is simply venting.
 
We are so fortunate to have truly outstanding teachers and staff. They can't see or hear every single word that is said, but you'd be surprised how much they do hear.
 
We are also fortunate that, years ago, a group of parents and leaders came together to create a community that teaches the whole child…mind, body and community.  We are a community inclusive and accepting of a diversity of thoughts and opinions.  We value the many different voices of our students and families.
 
For some of our community, there will be great joy in the outcome of our presidential election. But there will also be disappointment, despair, or fear. Westgate is a community where citizens treat one another with respect, with kindness. All of our families chose Westgate and one reason is because we're a welcoming community.
 
Know that we will continue to protect, honor, and instruct our students with great professionalism. If they come to school afraid, we will do our best to reassure them. If they make inappropriate comments, we will address them. Please think about how you are talking about current events with, or in front of, your children. Their filters are not yet fully developed, and their literal interpretation could lead to fear.
 
Sharon Collins