Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius has told state school superintendents and charter school directors that, in light of recent events and anti-Muslim rhetoric, state officials are prepared to help them provide a safe and welcoming environment for all students.
Recent events in the news and resulting anti-Muslim rhetoric have contributed to an environment that may expose children to disturbing or hateful messages online, in the news, or in their everyday experiences, even at school. As school leaders, we must take extra care to work with our teachers and entire school communities to reassure our children, and to address situations that might make them feel unsafe or unwelcome in our schools. All students—no matter their race, religion, or ethnic origin—deserve to attend school in a safe and caring environment.
The Safe and Supportive Schools Minnesota Act provides a framework for establishing this environment, and the staff in our School Safety Technical Assistance Center stand ready to support districts in this work… As educators, we have a responsibility to model compassion and empathy, values which will serve students well in school and throughout their lives. Educators and school staff should also communicate regularly with students and families about the steps they are taking to ensure everyone feels safe and welcomed.