Looking ahead to next Monday, October 11, 2021
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Greetings PSB Community,
As we look ahead to next week, I want to highlight several events headlined on Monday, October 11. Perhaps the celebration most familiar to us is the return of the Boston Marathon. After two years of anticipation, all of us are excited to see the runners return and race down Beacon Street en route to the finish line at Copley Square. I especially want to spotlight the Public Schools of Brookline students, staff, parents, and guardians planning to compete. We wish you the best of luck, and we are all rooting for you!
Monday, October 11 is also the second Monday of October and Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Since 2017, PSB has used this occasion to honor and educate our students on Native Americans and Indigenous groups, their history, and their culture. These lessons may include studies on the consequences of exploration, settlement, and westward expansion on indigenous groups - elements that we hope support a more inclusive and historically accurate curriculum. With continued resources and materials shared by our curriculum coordinators, I hope that our students will experience responsive and engaging content in an under-represented subject.
This year’s National Coming Out Day is also on Monday, October 11. First observed in 1988, National Coming Out Day raises awareness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and/or queer (LGBTQ+) community by promoting safe spaces for individuals to disclose their sexuality. I find this opportunity for individuals to “come out” empowering, especially when we take the disproportional rates of bullying, violence, and self-harm that we observe in the LGBTQ+ community. At PSB, our goals have always been to support the physical, mental, and social emotional health of our community, and I encourage you to continue this line of support for our LGBTQ+ students, staff, and community members and their journeys of self-discovery and acceptance.
To have all of this happening in one day may feel overwhelming. To only have one day to support these events, when each of them merits an independent occasion, may feel frustrating and conflicting. Yet I believe it is important to recognize that all models of celebration are additive, not subtractive. Progress in one sphere only reverberates in the other, and the diversity in the ways we celebrate our community is a testament to its strength and intersectionality.
As I reiterate above, the work we do as educators and as parents/guardians is never easy - especially with complicated and dynamic topics. What we can all agree on is that avoidance and dismissal of these concerns is the one unambiguously wrong way to respond. In collaboration with various departments, I encourage you to review the list of resources and materials that may be helpful in facilitation discussion and celebration.
I wish all of you a restful and relaxing long weekend.
Linus Guilory Jr., PhD
Superintendent of Schools
- On National Coming Out Day (National Today): A brief overview and history of National Coming Out Day came to be.
- Coming Out: A Resource for LGBTQ Students (GLSEN)
- When a Loved One Comes Out (PFLAG)
- Author and Indigenous elder Ma-Nee Chacaby talks about Two Spirit identities
- A two-spirit journey: finding identity through Indigenous culture
- Two Spirits, One Dance For Native American Artist
- Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey (MYRBS) from 2015