Dear CCS Community,
My heart is broken today, after hearing the tragic news of yet another life lost in our CCS community. Fifteen-year-old Lovely Kendricks -- gone too soon, and a family left mourning, due to gun violence.
I want to express my deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and loved ones of Ms. Kendricks. The loss of a child is nothing short of devastating. My heart aches as I grieve with you.
As a community, we must support each other and guide our children through the grieving process.
Our dedicated CCS Care Teams will be available to provide social-emotional support for our students and staff affected by this tragedy. It is important that they know we are here to support them and provide safe spaces.
As I write this, I am reminded of how many times I have written something similar. It both saddens and angers me. When will it stop? What can we do to keep our children safe?
Earlier this year, Governor DeWine signed House Bill 583, which officially designated October as Ohio School Safety Month. Students, families, and community members are encouraged to work together to keep Ohio schools safe for students to learn and grow.
And as the leader of the state’s largest urban school district, I am committed to working toward a safer future for our students. But this extends beyond our school buildings, and into the Columbus community where our students and families live, play, and work.
We must reinforce that sense of community and belonging as we collectively move forward. While we will grieve and endure the pain of loss, we must also grow stronger and stand together to effect change.
I encourage families to have conversations with their children at home. As we provide our young people with support to process this difficult information, we also need to discuss appropriate ways to cope with anger and conflict, and remind them that actions have consequences that cannot be undone.
If you have any questions or would like assistance on how to approach these difficult conversations, please reach out to me or your student’s principal.
In addition, here are a few resources you may find helpful:
Together, we will continue creating safe communities for our students to learn and thrive.
Superintendent/CEO, Columbus City Schools