LHHS

Lake Highlands High School Principal Kerri Jones can’t guarantee peace and harmony across America after today’s election, but she is working to ensure her students stand together, no matter the outcome. Last night, she enlisted the help of Wildcat parents to urge all students to support each other, whether their favorite candidates win or lose.

Jones emailed parents encouraging “passionate participation in the political and electoral process, especially by our young people.” She also shared her concerns.

“It’s equally important that as Americans, we understand other citizens have the same right to hold differing opinions, and that while discourse and discussion can be spirited, it should not cross a line toward demeaning, bullying, or threatening those with different viewpoints.”

“Regardless of the outcome of our elections, there will be students returning to school this week who will feel elated and empowered, and students who will feel angry and bitter. In that environment, we will need to come back together as a school community,” continued Jones.

Former Lake Highlands Junior High Principal Carrie Breedlove, who now leads J.J. Pearce, helped craft the message along with principals at Berkner and Richardson High. All intend to send versions to parents at their own schools before voting is finished. Election Day is a holiday in Richardson ISD since community members are in and out of school buildings for voting all day. Students return to class Wednesday.

You may read the full text of Jones’ letter to LHHS parents here:

Dear Wildcat Parents,

On the eve of Election Day, I want to reach out to ask for your help. Depending on your personal viewpoints, this election season may be viewed as somewhere between spirited to rancorous, with strong expressions of belief and opinions being common for many in our community, including among our students. Expressing political opinions and beliefs is a right we all have as Americans, and passionate participation in the political and electoral process, especially by our young people, is positive and encouraging.

However, it’s equally important that as Americans, we understand other citizens have the same right to hold differing opinions, and that while discourse and discussion can be spirited, it should not cross a line toward demeaning, bullying, or threatening those with different viewpoints.

Regardless of the outcome of our elections, there will be students returning to school this week who will feel elated and empowered, and students who will feel angry and bitter.  In that environment, we will need to come back together as a school community to do the many things: learning, studying, practicing, performing, supporting and encouraging, that make our school the place we all want it to be as educators, parents and students. This is where I would like your help.

Please take a few minutes to talk with your student about the importance of treating others with respect. If your child is pleased with the election result, it is fine to feel happy, but words or actions, including social media posts, that demean other students or disrupt our school cannot and will not be tolerated. Experiencing success is a time for respect, gratitude and grace, not taunts or bullying. Likewise, if the election result leaves your child upset and disappointed, it is not a reason or excuse to lash out, make threats, or take action against other students with differing viewpoints. It is in no one’s best interest for the election result to be disruptive to our school or have to lead to personal consequences for anyone.

Diversity is a strength, and the diversity of opinion within our school can make us stronger, but only if fellow students treat each other with the respect that every person deserves and would like to be treated themselves. We are part of the same school, in the same community, in the same state and in the same country.  We can be better, together, if we let ourselves be, and as adults it is part of our responsibility to encourage that in our students.

As your student heads back to school on Wednesday, a brief reminder about the golden rule can go a long way toward making this day better for our kids.

Sincerely,

Kerri L. Jones

Principal

Lake Highlands High School