My work is focused on solutions to help students, educators and their institutions to thrive, not just survive.
As an educator, I think the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial provides teachable moments that should not be lost. They need to be discussed and processed with students (in many ways and on many levels) so that they can come to understand this moment in time in America and the possibility — the real possibility — that we are living in a time where history is being made.
Here are some of the teachable aspects:
The verdict sends a powerful (although still incomplete) message to children of all ages and at all stages that we still can place at least some trust in our judicial system, including the jury composed of our peers; the truth is hard to hide forever; not all law enforcement officers act badly and disregard human life; and we can have hope that our world and the treatment of those within it — especially those who are black and brown — can improve.
There is another important message: speaking up and out without violence and guns as individuals and as communities (whether in words or videoing or protesting) has power; it takes courage and can be hard but there are ears to hear and eyes to see and minds to change if we work to enable the bedrock of our nation: equality for all.