An Open Letter to the Explorations Community

Like many of you, I am acutely touched by last week’s episode of school violence in Marysville.  It is terribly hard to hear of, and to imagine, the bloodshed and suffering — so close to home geographically as well as emotionally.  We are fully in sympathy of the families of those students impacted.  And we are in anguish over the persistent violence in our society.  My personal feeling is that we are challenged to move toward a higher state of civility that will eventually render violence a thing of the past.
CIMG2849I was especially touched by a conversation I had today with Christine Olsen, who as a teenager attended the high school that was the site of the last week’s shooting.  She chose to send her son to Explorations in part because she wanted to optimize the safety and sanity of the environment that surrounds him in his youth.  Had circumstances turned out differently, he might have been in that cafeteria when the gunfire began.  The idea of any of our kids being victims of such a horror is an awful one, and I stand emotionally alongside the families involved.
While none of us are reliably outside the reach of violence, we can act to increase our safety.  At Explorations, this means maintaining meaningful and honest relationships, making sure each member of the community is respected, and teaching skills in communication and conflict resolution.  (We also train staff in emergency management and run lockdown drills periodically.) There is no guarantee that these strategies will keep us safe.  But they are important, both to increase the immediate well being of our students, and to help prepare them for a world still deeply enmeshed in patterns of violence.
Thank you for entrusting your wonderful young people to our care, and we will continue to support their safety and their growth as best we can.
 — Daniel
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