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Posted By Paul Druzinsky, Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2016

When I woke up this morning, I saw the sun rising through beautiful fall leaves, I heard dogs barking in the backyards, and I was greeted by my favorite smell—the aroma of strong coffee. What does this mean? To me, it means what it always does—each day is a new one, filled with the most powerful force in human nature…hope.  Our country was founded on hope and the promise that working together will make each of us, and our country, stronger and better. This has not changed.

We have a new president, a president of the people, by the people, for the people.  Elected fair and square. Our election was not rigged. Wherever our passions lie, whatever our feelings are, we have an obligation and duty to do everything possible to support the transition of power to the next president of the United States. This is what Americans do, this is what people give their lives to protect. Every president must be granted the opportunity to govern.

I have been inundated with questions about “what do we tell our children” and how do we move forward? Well—millions of people would be saying the same thing to their children if the results had been different, and millions of people would be sharing their anger and disappointment. What do we tell our children?  We tell them our system of government remains the best in the world, that we have checks and balances in our branches of government, and until proven otherwise (and despite however one interprets one’s past record) our next leader has yet to make a single decision as President of the United States. Every president who follows the laws of the land in office and upholds the Constitution has the right, given to him by the people, to govern.  We tell our children, and each other, that we are stronger when we act together. We model the behaviors and conduct ourselves in the same manner that we expect and hope from others.

To those who supported the losing candidate, I say do not behave like some of those who opposed our current President have done for the last eight years. Do not allow negativity and obstructionism to guide your actions. To those who supported our next President, I say remember the president is the president of all the people, not simply those who share a certain ideology, and that your duty is stronger than ever to reach out across the political spectrum.

What do we tell our children?  We tell them that history shows us that we have had smart, principled presidents who have governed poorly, and presidents of questionable character who have proven to govern highly successfully. As parents, teachers, and ultimately as Americans, we model grace and compassion in victory and defeat. We emphasize that the “winners” of the election are all of us, the American people who once again showed that the peaceful transition of the world’s most powerful position is one of our greatest gifts to people of good will everywhere.

What do we tell our children? As I wrote last winter, I close by stating that the physical and emotional safety of our children comes first and foremost. Our values and our mission remain committed to recognizing and supporting the heightened sensitivities and intensities of our population. Today those sensitivities are raised. Our job is to provide an environment for our children to express and channel those feelings in a positive, safe manner; let us remember that all of the adults are here for each and every child. We are one community dedicated to one ideal. We move forward in partnership with our parents and believe that hope will always carry the day. The Avery Coonley School is first and foremost an educational institution. And education provides hope for all!

Paul Druzinsky, Head of School

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