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Twenty years after September 11, 2001

The communication below provides important information from the Public Schools of Brookline. Translated versions are available at the following links:

 

Greetings PSB Families and Staff,

 

This Saturday will mark the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. For some of us, our memory of that day remains hauntingly clear. I was in my classroom teaching when a colleague came to my door to inform me what had transpired. I recall the confusion, anxiety, and fear shared among my students and colleagues as we tried to make sense of what happened. With my classroom then, I remember engaging in early processing while also affording students a moment to connect with their families for reassurance and comfort. In classrooms throughout PSB tomorrow, educators who are comfortable will follow a similar initiative and take time to educate, honor, and reflect on what happened twenty years ago.  

 

We recognize that we have an opportunity - and responsibility - to educate on this event (particularly for those born after the attacks) in a safe and engaging manner. As a district committed to equity and to ensuring all students can participate thoughtfully in our democracy, we believe it is important to acknowledge this moment. In addition, we are committed to providing the resources needed for everyone to process their thoughts and feelings. The experience for students tomorrow will ultimately vary from school to school, classroom to classroom, and grade to grade. As our interim K-8 social studies coordinator, Greg Porter, said to our staff and the Brookline TAB earlier today: “there is no “right” way [to teach 9/11], just the way that you need at this time.” 

  

The work we do as educators and parents/guardians is never easy - especially in subjects as sensitive, complicated, and personal as this. Know that as we prepare to remember this tragedy, all of us at PSB are ready to support you. I encourage you to reach out to your neighbors, your communities, and each other as we continue to heal collectively from these traumatic times. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Linus J. Guillory Jr., PhD
Superintendent of Schools