From the Head of School: Respecting our differences

President Barack Obama’s comments on racism last week after the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case bear thinking about for all of us.

“…Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” Obama remarked. “And when you think about why, in the African- American community especially, there’s a lot of pain around what happened, I think it’s important for everyone to reflect on how we understand and respect others. We should also recognize that the African-American community looks at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away and is different than other groups.”

At Metropolitan Montessori, we recognize that our families have unique life stories that affect how they see the world, what they expect for their children, how they relate to each other. We value our differences even when we are less than perfect in managing our ignorance, our thoughtlessness, or our biases. Because we value relationships, we all have to work at being respectful of one another. And yes, we can all do better.

Obama urged families and churches and workplaces to do some soul searching about race. I ask that each of us, as Obama suggested, “Ask yourself your own questions about, am I wringing as much bias out of myself as I can; am I judging people, as much as I can, based on not the color of their skin but the content of their character? That would, I think, be an appropriate exercise in the wake of this tragedy.”

And so we do and so we will continue to pay attention to our president, and to encourage positive and respectful relationships in our school. Let’s come together in September united in this goal.