THE BLOG
11/25/2014 01:00 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2015

A Letter to Educators in Response to the St. Louis County Grand Jury Decision

As we consider the St. Louis County grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, we all will have a variety of feelings in response. I am sitting here watching the news and thinking about each of my students in New York City and how they are feeling today as a result of this decision, and how they feel each and every day as young men and women of color.

There is no script for what to do with our students in situations like these, but I do believe that more than anything else, they need to feel loved and cared for.

I ask that, regardless of how you are feeling, we all work hard to maintain safe spaces in our school and show each of our students how much we love them and care for them and that we want to keep them safe.

As you walk down the halls and greet students at your doors, make sure you smile and tell them how they make you proud and that you care about them. Shake hands, high-five and give hugs to spread the love today and every day moving forward. Thanksgiving can already be a tough holiday for many of our children, and this decision in Missouri is likely to magnify those feelings and raise even more complicated feelings to the surface.

Remember that each of us will set the tone. Remember that students may be tenser than normal as a result of this situation, and that we are the adults whom our kids depend on for stability. Stay calm and speak softly if there are difficult moments, and together we will ensure that our students have the best day possible.

With love and respect,
Mark