Community / Opinion

Dana Hall’s positive response to the January 6 Capitol attack

Dana Hall was very helpful to students following the Capitol atttack on January 6, 2021. Upper School Director Ms. Jessica Keimowitz sent an email stating, “This is clearly a sad day in our nation’s history, as the peaceful transfer of power is a cornerstone of our democracy and a source of great pride.” January 6 was the date for Congress to certify the Electoral College votes and confirm that Joe Biden had won the 2020 election. Instead, this date will now be remembered as the day that a violent group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, claiming that the election had been “stolen.”

The next morning, sessions were held for students who wanted to discuss the events. Students were allowed to miss first period to attend these sessions. There was a general session and a special affinity group session for BIPOC students. In addition, affinity groups held meetings during lunch for students to share their feelings and just to open a safe space for everyone, especially the BIPOC students in our community. Some teachers gave students the opportunity in class to talk about their feelings regarding the Capitol attack. 

Although Dana Hall succeeded in this regard, there weren’t opportunities for the student body as a whole to discuss what had happened. When unfortunate events like this happen again, I would like to see talk during an X-block so that students and teachers could both share their feelings about the events that had taken place. 

For example, there were two mass shootings in March that were briefly addressed in an All-School Meeting announcement by Head of School Ms. Katherine Bradley, but otherwise I haven’t heard them talked about in class or other gatherings. On March 16, 2021, during Spring Break, there was a shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, in which six of the eight deaths were Asian or Asian American women. Not even a week later, there was another shooting in Boulder, Colorado, where ten people were killed. Moreover, the fact that the Atlanta shooting was primarily targeted towards Asian women was not addressed at all.

January 6, 2021 will forever be remembered as a day where the people truly saw how divided our country is. Thankfully here at Dana Hall, we had the support of faculty and staff if we needed a place to express our feelings.

Photo source: CHS Globe.

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