This weekend brought another devastating mass shooting to our country, this time in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Five people were killed and at least 25 were wounded in an LGBTQ nightclub after a gunman entered and opened fire. Club Q is known as a refuge for the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs. At the time of this writing, police are investigating the motive of the shooter, including whether the attack is a hate crime. This tragedy happened on the eve of our National Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is observed annually on November 20th to commemorate the lives of transgender people who have been victims of anti-transgender violence.
While Colorado Springs is mourning the loss of their loved ones, the impact on LGBTQ people in our Orchard community and across the country is profound, and together we mourn the loss of lives and the impact that it has on our sense of safety.
I encourage the parents in our community to lean on trusted adults in your inner circle to process your feelings in response to this tragic news, and consider these resources for age-appropriate conversationsthat you may want to have at home with your children. Here at school, our counselor Kerry Ferguson is available for students, faculty, staff, and families who may have questions, concerns, or are in need of additional support. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator Marcus Hatcher is also available for additional resources or conversations. Following Thanksgiving Break, Orchard’s No Place for Hate student organization will be holding lunchtime meetings with Mr. Hatcher to discuss topics and strategies for creating an inclusive school community and global society.
In the wake of this tragic news, I am proud to reaffirm that we are a community of love, a community where all are welcome, and a community that will always be No Place for Hate.