On Friday of last week, our middle school students, parent-volunteers, and faculty piled into cars, SUVs, and vans to head out into the Tucson community for a day of service. With more than one hundred students working at six different agency locations for most of the day, their service did make a difference in the lives of others, including some furry friends. As we have talked about the work that Martin Luther King, Jr. did on behalf of others by quietly preaching peace, justice, and equality for all people, it is important that our students learn early that no matter how big or small, acts of kindness and compassion on behalf of others do make a difference.
In the disturbing climate found in our country today, it seems even more critical for our schools to be alternative voices to the negative rhetoric that we continue to hear. Certainly, the alarming amount of hatred and degrading of so many people lies in direct contrast to the kindness and compassion we expect of our students in relation to others. Recently, when Episcopal schools were asked what big issues are being faced by our schools, diversity, polarization, and simply how we get along with each other appeared very high on the list. It is critically important in our schools that we recommit ourselves to the establishment of, and adherence to, a sound moral compass. We lead by example. We must have the courage to be the alternative voice. This goes beyond any party affiliation. We need to model for our children, who are growing up in a polarized society, that there is a better way. It begins by showing respect for everyone, regardless of differences. As we live into the baptismal covenant, at St. Michael’s we will continue to strive for justice and peace among all people while respecting the dignity of every human being. This is the message we continually say in various ways at St. Michael’s. This past week, our students carried that message beyond our adobe walls into the Tucson community. In doing so, they gave witness to those who saw them that even children can help to change the world.
Head of School