To our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and families who are speaking out and telling their stories—courageously reliving trauma in order to make lasting change within GFS and our community—we are truly sorry. We are sorry not only for what you have experienced—inexcusable aggressions and microaggressions—but also that you have had to bring these matters to our attention.
We are called to persist in the discernment and acknowledgment of our collective truth, and to hold ourselves accountable for our shortcomings. The truth is that many of our Black and Brown students have felt marginalized, they have felt tokenized, and these experiences have had a lasting impact. As an educational institution, we have a moral obligation to set the tone, provide a physically, emotionally, and psychologically safe environment that supports and affirms each individual. We can and will do better. While we know we have so much work to do in becoming a truly anti-racist community, we want to start with the acknowledgement and healing that needs to occur within our school. To our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and families who are sharing: We hear you. We see you. We value who you are, and we will do better.
As we noted, this movement is a necessary awakening, and we must and will respond in new ways. We intend to be transparent in our efforts. Currently, we are working to create and implement a comprehensive approach to anti-racism at GFS. This plan will include existing initiatives, as well as enhanced programming and professional development, process and structural modifications, and mechanisms for safely reporting and addressing concerns. And the creation of this approach will include greater involvement from all of our constituents, including the School Committee, faculty and staff, students, families, alumni, and the community.
Listening and engagement will be an ongoing part of the process for healing and change. We also know that we must listen with intention and truly hear members of our community. Details are forthcoming on the planning of a series of community conversations. All will be invited to speak and share during these open gatherings.
Head of School
Please view a letter from Dana Weeks and Sam Rhoads, Clerk of the GFS School Committee from June 21, 2020.