Mar 18, 2021

updated Mar 18, 2021

Processing this week’s violence in Atlanta

Head of School Julia Heaton responds to the March 16 shootings in Georgia

I awoke yesterday morning to the horrifying news of the Georgia shootings that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent. This terrible tragedy is the latest in a mounting series of attacks against Asians and Asian Americans since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. And, these attacks exist within the larger context of violence against women and a long history of anti-Asian discrimination in the United States.

To our Asian-identified students, families, faculty, staff, and alumnae, I want to express my care and concern for you and your well-being. I want to acknowledge the hurt and fear that many of us are feeling in this moment, and let you know that you are not alone, that your Miss Hall’s community stands with you and loves you.

I encourage everyone to reach out to the people in your life who might be feeling the weight of these attacks, who might benefit from a text, a call, or a message of support. Remember, you don’t always need “the right words.” The truth is: sometimes words fail us. Your presence — even virtually — is enough. For those of you who are parents, you may be wondering how to talk to your student about events like this. As ever, do not feel like you need any specific answer. Begin by listening to your student’s feelings, questions, and fears. There is no script, but I can assure you that one conversation will open the door to more.

Miss Hall’s, as always, is committed to the safety and well-being of our community. In the next few days, we will be offering opportunities for students and adults to come together to engage in dialogue and process the complex emotions that arise after attacks such as these. We will also continue to monitor any local conditions or global events that affect our students or our Berkshires campus.

We also know that action will be required from each of us. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to foster cross-cultural understanding, to practice allyship and empathy, and to honor and respect all members of our community. Tuesday night is a reminder of why the anti-racism work we undertake is so vital — and why our commitment to stand in solidarity against injustice must be continuous and ongoing. If you are interested in learning more and taking action, please explore the resources below.

All my best,