Sonoma County Office of Education

Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools Statement on the Insurrection at the Capitol

01/08/2021 -

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Steve Herrington, County Superintendent

As a former teacher of U.S. history and a veteran of our nation’s armed services, I never thought I would see violent and egregious acts such as those that took place in our U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. This will become a moment, along with Pearl Harbor and 911, that teachers will discuss with students as a dark day in our country’s history.

However, the meaning of this day has yet to be determined. It is up to all of us to shape whether the day marked a turning point for better or worse in our democracy. First, regardless of political party, we must all come together as Americans to denounce the violence enacted by the individuals involved and their attempts to interfere with our Nation’s democratic process. We must stand up for and support the constitution and the peaceful transition of power—the cornerstone of our democracy.

The United States has long served as a model of democracy across the world. Despite this week’s disturbing events, I believe in the power of everyday Americans to come together and begin to heal. Our schools have a critical role to play in this process by fostering civic engagement and literacy, kindness and respect for our fellow citizens, civil discourse, and critical thinking.

I know that it is sometimes difficult to find the words to talk with children about these events. SCOE’s Educational Support Services team has identified a range of resources for discussing this challenging and perplexing moment with children of all ages. You can access them here.

I am heartened by the words of President Harry S. Truman: “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”

Let us all tap into that courage, imagination, and unbeatable determination to work toward a bright, safe, and equitable future for ALL our children.