Important Message from FIT Academy Director
Dear FIT Community,
As you know, our communities have faced many social, public health, and political issues this past year. I want to begin by telling you that I am EXTREMELY proud of how we have handled these as a school community. I can tell you that I regularly hear of conflicts occurring at various schools and am thankful for how our staff and families have responded to these events at FIT Academy. It is my hope that we are now emerging from these issues and look forward to continued growth and strengthening of our community.
One challenge we face on a daily basis is how to address the rapid flow of news related to sensitive or controversial topics. As our staff knows, I have discouraged engaging in deep or opinioned conversations related to these issues. The reason for this is clear and it is to honor ALL members of our community and respect differing views. I believe we can also agree that discussing these issues when feelings are elevated and facts are rapidly changing may not be as effective as doing so when the time and place lends itself to a healthy conversation. I will share with you three of my fundamental beliefs which I share with staff. I don’t expect everyone to agree with these but I feel it is important for you to know from where I lead.
– Focus on our purpose. Why are we here, entrusted with children and providing guidance to families? Our purpose is clear: To provide a foundation of health, fitness, and wellbeing in preparing students for academic achievement and enhancing our students mental, physical, and emotional development. Everything we do should focus on and prioritize this purpose.
– Respect the differing opinions of others and refrain from passing judgment. We cannot expect to fully understand the complex experiences of each individual and why they feel the way they do. I encourage all to respect how others feel rather than focus on spoken language which sometimes is misleading or misunderstood. To be clear, when I say refrain from passing judgment, I am referring to much more than how we respond. I am referring to how we internally evaluate the opinions of others which shapes how we value them. I believe we can have this empathy and respect even if we disagree.
– Focus on what we have in common rather than our differences. As a school community, we have every diversity you can imagine. We have diversity in race, ethnicity, culture, language, income, faith, religion, politics, ideologies, and other ways. Yet we have much more in common than we have differences. We are all united in our mission. We all believe in and love our children. We all value health, fitness, intellectual development, and emotional health. We all strive to instill values such as honesty, integrity, respect, kindness, fairness, and dignity. While we also respect differences, I believe we are united in our efforts to come together for the purpose of serving all our children.
My personal belief is that families should be the ones to lead sensitive discussions related to current events with children. As children enter middle school and high school, there is room for discussion, particularly in the context of health or social studies classes. It is also a reality that our students will bring up these issues in class resulting in impromptu discussions or responses that our staff inevitably have to navigate. I have full confidence that our staff will handle these conversations in a manner that is appropriate, respectful, and free of judgment. As professionals, we are called to set aside our own opinions and approach these conversations from a neutral perspective as this is the only way to honor differing views.
Thank you for reading this long but important message. We do value your opinions on these matters and I would welcome your thoughts. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts with me or reach out if you would like to meet and discuss further.