Time to Rediscover Respectful Discourse
November 9, 2020
Dear DUSD Community,
We are living through challenging times. We are facing a pandemic, economic issues, social injustice, political polarization, the challenges of distance learning, a shift in national leadership, climate change, and rapid growth in our city - just to name a few.
It’s arguably one of the most stressful times we will face throughout our lives.
Over the weekend, I was shocked to hear that a local community member targeted one of our Dublin students as part of a rallying cry on social media against their perceived injustice. What injustice? A temporary art installation (a sign garden), unanimously passed by the Dublin City Council on November 3, in support of Black Lives Matter.
Regardless of anyone’s position on temporary art installations, or the BLM movement, there is absolutely no justifiable reason to post a photo of a child in our community, or any community, in an effort to stir up division and further a cause. This is wrong. I’m simply aghast that someone would do such a thing, and in the process, potentially put one of our children in danger. In this case, the Dublin Police Department is involved and will ensure our child’s safety.
There are so many issues in our country, but we cannot let disagreements turn into dangerous and divisive language or actions. We need to rediscover respectful discourse. It’s far too easy to sit behind a keyboard and express frustration, but it’s also dangerous. This is not the only example of how some allow their frustrations to get the best of them, it’s only the most recent.
What I’m asking of all of us is to use this email as a teachable moment. The next time we feel compelled to disagree, argue or lash out, we must think twice. Ask yourself - Are the words being used unifying our community or splitting it apart? Have we tried to understand why someone is so frustrated? Or, are we just reacting because the opportunity presented itself?
This email was drafted a bit out of frustration and a bit out of hope. It is not meant to be an indictment of any recipient. I go back to where I started; we are all facing significant challenges and sometimes they weigh heavy on us.
Let’s look to people like Acacia Tripplett, our Dublin High School student, who has made such a monumental effort to bring our community together. Follow the lead of the optimistic. Follow the lead of those that are looking for solutions. Follow the lead of people who are willing to listen instead of react.
Please don’t allow this stress to get the better of you and let’s show one another what “One Dublin” truly means.
Daniel R. Moirao, Ed.D.
Dublin Unified School District