NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Columbus Elementary School Principal Michael Galland sent the following email on the early morning of November 8th. The email is presented “as written” so the typos, grammatical errors, syntax issues and punctuation errors are Mr. Galland’s own.
Our children wake up this morning to learn that Donald Trump has been elected president.
No matter your political preference, it is indisputable that the campaign he led for the last year has been historic for a number of reasons.
Perhaps like never before, the rhetoric and jockeying of the election cycle—the competition—has been captured and marketed incessantly, on the internet, via facebook, twitter and on tv.
It is unlikely our students are unaware of what has been transpiring, even if they have very limited to modest knowledge of politics, government, or the election in general.
It is safe to assume-we know this-that the majority of our students and families are connected to friends, neighbors, relatives, for whom questions of residency in our country are central to their lives.
Our nation’s immigration story for the last 20-30 years has been that of migration from Central America in large part.
Our kids’ lives are deeply connection to the tragedies and triumphs and fears this narrative tells.
In short, our students are waking up to terrifying news.
We will need to talk about their fears and more.
We will need to talk about government and law and process a bit — our nation is governed not by on(sic) person, far from it.
That a constitution has survived and is revered still for hundreds of years.
We will need to comfort them and show that the world is here this morning like it was—for them—yesterday.
If you wish to talk out strategies to address all this with kids in age appropriate ways, please meet in the library at 8:00 a.m. this morning.
Then I plan on being outside on Washington Avenue in the morning to greet families and open car doors.
If you are able, being outside provides a rare opportunity to greet hundreds of kids and families; smiles and more will matter greatly.
Columbus Elementary School
275 Washington Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10801