January 8, 2021
Dear Lincoln Academy Community,
The events we saw unfold this week on our televisions and social media feeds at our nation’s Capitol were deeply disturbing, profoundly disappointing, and incredibly sobering for me as a leader of this educational institution.
Donna Orem, President of the National Association of Independent Schools, lent a collective voice to our role as educators, parents and students in her message this morning.
“Educators have a direct role in both teaching the fundamentals of democracy and exemplifying it in words and actions. We can value diverse perspectives and also condemn violence and the divisive rhetoric and false information fueling it. We all have a responsibility to pass on to the next generation the core values and practices of free and fair elections and peaceful disagreement.”
Education is a defining occupation for us all. Recognizing moments of learning and educating ourselves so we can help our students understand the magnitude of what has happened is part of our role. As a school we must acknowledge how these moments impact not only ourselves but our students.
I urge us all to find the courage, strength, and humility to battle with the competing ideals fundamental to our democratic society: the freedom of choice and the responsibility to choose well. To resist the easy and sometimes self-centered choice, and instead consider how to choose better for those in our community.
It would be easier to move quickly forward, to bet on the American spirit and the mantra that there are brighter days ahead. While I do believe this, as I have seen it many times in this community, before I take advantage of that momentum I need to pause, learn, discuss, read and understand what this moment in history imports for our community and our nation.
It will be difficult work and I know this community is up for the challenge. Our students are the lanterns of light to help lead us out of the darkness of a global pandemic and the illegal and destructive acts witnessed in our Capitol, their fuel is our collective investment in their education.
I do not expect calmer seas over the coming months, but I do firmly believe in our course.
Be well and stay safe,
Jeffrey S. Burroughs
Head of School