“Moving from Heaviness to Hope”

It has been a violent and tense summer in the United States. A mass shooting in Florida, disturbing police killings of black men caught on video, murdered police officers in Dallas—all in the span of 4 weeks. These nationally covered incidents don’t include the every day violence and deteriorating community relations taking places across the country. It’s hard to set despair aside and focus on what educators and schools can do to help students cope, and as importantly, help them grow into citizens who are equipped to bring positive societal change. Meria Carstarphen, superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, set aside her despair and wrote “Moving from Heaviness to Hope,” her powerful response to this summer’s events. It’s personal and beautiful writing that highlights her belief that schools can, and must, make a difference—“. . . And I have come to believe that the transformational cultural shifts we must have in our country must begin in the schoolhouse where young, impressionable minds gather each day with their hearts and minds open to receiving new knowledge and open to having their ideas challenged.”

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