The below is excerpted from an email that Allison sent to Blue School faculty and staff before the day started this morning.
On this day in 2001, I was working in Chelsea in a nonprofit serving schools, and after hours of watching the horrors of that day unfold, I found myself at Whole Foods buying food and carrying it to Manhattan's District 2 offices. Many teachers were there, some of whom were covered in dust, and all of whom had come to a place where they knew other educators would be after releasing their students to their parents that day. They were there huddled in corners, some silent, some crying, some conversing as if it was a normal day, each one with a different reaction to the trauma. I remember walking into that room with food and leaving it there, leaving quickly because I knew it was a sacred space that needed its own boundaries. I know that for me and for so many others, that day is with me every day.
Being an educator on September 11th, and on other days that memorialize horrific events, is challenging. We hold the opportunity and the responsibility to try and bring more peace and understanding into the world through our work, and after a summer like this one, during which unchecked and unmitigated hatred seem to define so much of the activity on the world's stage, this responsibility feels significantly more urgent. Depending on the age of the young people we work with, discussions may or may not be necessary or warranted. But for all of us at Blue School, I hope we can find a moment today with children to breathe, to find a center of peace, to teach a song of struggle and hope, to open our ears and hearts to someone we don't yet understand, to use a conflict between children as a way to teach that people have different ideas; and whether any of the events of that morning or the dynamics around it are mentioned, I hope we find a way to honor those who were lost by teaching for the future.