A Message Regarding Election Day 2022
November 2, 2022
Dear School District of Philadelphia Families,
Tuesday, November 8, is Election Day. All school buildings, except those serving as voting sites, will be closed and there will be no classes for students as our nation engages in the democratic process of selecting its future leaders. This election season has been deeply divisive, adding to the anxieties and stresses we’ve all been dealing with due to violence in our city, the pandemic, and more. As a School District, it’s important that we do our part toward healing by supporting a culture of equity, inclusion and respect for every student, family and staff member.
Our District proudly represents our wonderfully diverse nation — diversity that should be embraced and celebrated. Though our differences may cause us to react to the election results differently, our schools and offices must be safe havens regardless of the outcomes — free from hate, intimidation, bullying and fear. This is a responsibility that each and every one of us share.
I whole-heartedly believe that civically-engaged young people can and will shape the future of our nation, our city and our world. Therefore, it’s important that our educators create safe spaces for age-appropriate and unbiased classroom discussions that allow students to express themselves in healthy, risk-free ways. And it’s critically important that we all model how to engage with people of differing viewpoints in a graceful and tolerant manner. Here are some helpful resources we can all use:
- 6 Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids About Voting
- Let’s Vote! Talk to Children About Voting
- iCivics Election Headquarters for Students
Hate-based speech, harassment and discriminatory behaviors that devalue others are unacceptable anywhere in our District. If you witness, become aware of or are the target of any of these behaviors, please report the incident in one of the following ways:
- Complete the online Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Reporting Form
- Call the Bullying/Harassment hotline at 215-400-SAFE
- Email the Compliance Officer/Title IX Coordinator directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for doing your part to cultivate well-rounded, accepting, civically-engaged critical thinkers. Please remember to VOTE on November 8!
Tony B. Watlington Sr., Ed.D.
The School District of Philadelphia