Confronting Anti-Semitism

Dear Families,

Even as Maret has focused intensely on the challenges of learning and teaching during a pandemic, we cannot ignore other realities that continue to roil American society and affect life in our school community.

Exactly a year ago, I wrote to you about horrific, racist attacks against Black Americans, noting “We know that for every action reported in the news, countless other incidents of racism occur daily.” And this week, we mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa massacre, when an armed mob of white supremacists killed hundreds of Black men, women, and children and burned to the ground the flourishing community of Greenwood, known as Black Wall Street.

None of us can forget the deadly siege of the United States Capitol on January 6th of this year, which included people who wore anti-Semitic and racist words and symbols. These events led me to write home again, with “a reminder that we Stand Together as we navigate through such an unprecedented time.”

This March, I reached out to you again in response to a sharp rise in racially motivated attacks against Asian Americans nationwide. As I wrote at that time, “This should not be acceptable to anyone.”

Over the last month there has been an alarming increase in anti-Semitic attacks in the United States; in a two-week period, these incidents increased by 75% according to the Anti-Defamation League. Many of these hate crimes have been violent.

Today, I write to clearly state Maret’s support for Jewish members of our community; and to once again condemn all acts of discrimination, bullying, harassment, or hate against any person based on characteristics such as religious belief, skin color, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Every student should come to school secure in the knowledge that Maret is truly one community, made stronger by its diversity and a commitment to equity and inclusion.

The strength of Maret lies in striving to uphold our Core Value of Respect for each and every one of us. As we have stated repeatedly, harmful language or conduct that degrades, insults, or injures a person or group is not acceptable. Maret wants to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for all (see resources on the Equity and Inclusion page). We are committed to combatting anti-Semitism as part of our work promoting equity and inclusion. Maret will always responsibly address any incidents reported by our community. This year, we are also initiating a Restorative Practice program as one further step to ensure that we address injustice and discrimination.

As this challenging, and at times, very difficult year comes to an end, let us join together to celebrate and honor each other’s humanity,

Marjo