Love Your Neighbor
Dear Waldorf Community,
On April 20, 2021, the anticipated verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial coupled with our own emergency in the Garden City community brought a wealth of emotions to the surface within our School and beyond. While the guilty verdict is a significant win, true justice goes beyond the courtroom and requires a fundamental transformation of our society. We hope this outcome has brought some solace to the Floyd family and the witnesses who bravely took the stand, and we equally hope that this gesture of accountability signals the possibility of a different kind of future.
This basic affirmation of the value of Black life will be fundamental to moving toward change; accountability is not the same as justice. As racially motivated violence continues, it is clear how much work remains to be done. Many of us feel anger, confusion, and exhaustion, but we cannot forget that these abuses of power are not unique, new, or isolated. They represent one of many patterns of systemic racism against Black people and other people of color in the United States.
In the coming weeks, you will notice a flag flying over the School stating “Love Your Neighbor-No Exceptions.” The Waldorf School of Garden City firmly stands by this statement and works to infuse it into all that we do. We embrace the belief that a society that is unjust to any of its members is not a just society, and that peace for some can only be enjoyed when there is justice for all.
Many of our staff, students, and families have participated in marches, protests, and demonstrations; through work inside and outside the School they have intentionally pursued knowledge, cultivated empathy examined privileges, and questioned personal bias.
We are a community that has always valued kindness and character, and we have seized the opportunity to explicitly assert anti-racism as a way to live those qualities fully. Our shared commitment to graduating generations of students with the courage to confront injustice and to act as advocates for themselves and others remains more hopeful and inspiring than any single verdict could be. We look forward to sharing the triumphs and challenges of this continued work with our WSGC community in the weeks, months, and years to come.
The Waldorf School of Garden City
Keelah Helwig, Early Childhood Chair
Thomas Jenkins, Lower School Chair
Nicole Littrean, Administrator
Kelly O’Halogan, Faculty Chair
Roland Rothenbucher, High School Chair
Deirdre Somers, College Chair