Read Mr. Sheldon's letter to the Casady Community.
Dear Casady Community,
This week has been a very difficult week. I had been optimistically awaiting the arrival of Governor Stitt’s Phase 3 of reopening the state of Oklahoma. Things were beginning to feel like, while we haven’t found complete solutions to this COVID-19 disease, hope was in front of us. Then, suddenly, that feeling of hope gave way to a reminder that another disease in our country, racial injustice, along with the symptom of inequality, is still present.
The death of George Floyd, the lack of moral courage by the three additional police officers, reminds us that we still need to confront this disease with the same energy that we are spending to face COVID-19. The rioting and looting has been difficult to watch. In the midst of this chaos are passionate protestors who are seeking to find ways to build an equitable environment for all God’s children. Atlanta Mayor, Keisha Bottoms, said it best, “A protest has purpose. When Dr. King was assassinated, we didn’t [cause destruction or participate in looting in] our city. . . . We are better than this! We’re better than this as a city, we are better than this as a country!” Yes, we the people of this country have to continue to work together to create something better, for everyone.
As this week comes to a close, we see far less of the destructive behaviors. Instead, what is coming to light are communities peacefully protesting, and police joining the protests. Protesters and police are praying with each other, dancing with each other, and listening to each other.
At Casady, I am encouraged by the Town Hall Ms. BrieAnn Johnson, Director of Equity and Inclusion, and I had with Upper Division students to hear how they feel and how our immediate community can take a core Episcopalian tenant, to love ALL, and make sure it is a verb and not just a belief statement. Our youth have answers we adults may not have considered, and we must be willing to listen, to give voice, and to facilitate action.
Children may have questions about these current events, and we want to provide you with resources about ways you can talk to children in age-appropriate ways. Our psychologist, Dr. Jeri Baucum-McKinney, has provided some links that can be helpful as children ask questions about the protests and demonstrations. You will find those links at the end of my letter below.
Soon we will graduate 78 Cyclones, and I am confident in their collective resolve towards equality. Let’s continue to live into the covenant that we are ALL made in His image, and be the community that actively works to create equality for all.
Nathan L. Sheldon
Head of School