DOWNTOWN — The head of the Chicago Public Schools sent a note to the district's educators Friday, pledging "additional resources" to help students and staff cope with the results of Tuesday's presidential election.
"This is a time to support each other, our students, and our broader community through what may be a difficult time," CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said in an email co-signed by Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson.
"Regardless of political affiliation, every one of our staff and students has the right to a safe, welcoming school environment where they feel valued and respected," they said.
The election provided a "unique learning opportunity" to teach students "how important it is to respect each other's differences and unique perspectives," the note read.
"Helping students process this week's events is both a challenge and a responsibility," the email stated, and "school leaders should expect to receive additional resources to support school staff in this capacity."
Teachers, staff and administrators were also reminded to take advantage of the Employee Assistance Program should they require counseling themselves.
CPS did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding whether the email was prompted by specific incidents, nor whether similar notes have been sent following previous elections. It was also unclear what additional resources are planned.
Here's the complete note:
With emotions running high after the presidential election, we want to acknowledge the responsibility we all carry as members of the CPS community.
Regardless of political affiliation, every one of our staff and students has the right to a safe, welcoming school environment where they feel valued and respected. We are proud of our District’s diversity, and believe strongly that every student, regardless of race, ethnicity, background, sexual orientation, language, religion or culture has the right to reach their full potential.
Helping students process this week’s events is both a challenge and a responsibility, but we are confident that it can be done in a way that supports their growth. Remember that this election presents us with a unique learning opportunity — a chance to teach our children about democracy while reminding them how important it is to respect each other’s differences and unique perspectives. Shortly, school leaders should expect to receive additional resources to support school staff in this capacity.
This is a time to support each other, our students, and our broader community through what may be a difficult time. We also want to remind you that for staff looking for additional support, the Employee Assistance Program is available to all employees.
We pledge to continue doing all we can to make every member of our community feel valued and welcome. Thank you for the work you do every day to make that possible.
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