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October 31, 2014


Dear Parents,

 

Just a few hours left in this Halloween season.  The energy in the anticipation and fun of this holiday takes the depth of our skills to keep meaningful learning on track here.  If it were only the students I think we could manage it all, but, alas, it’s us big folks, even the principal, who really ramp it up!  Happy Halloween everyone.


Halloween kicks off the traditional American holiday season.  Up next is Thanksgiving.  Following that is the Winter Break with Christmas, Hanukkah and several other cultural celebrations.  Most enjoy the richness of the many cultures enjoyed in our country.  Sometimes an over emphasis of one over the other offends.  As we are diverse and multicultural (even at Bridge Point) and we are preparing our students for even more diverse and multicultural experiences, I like to think we can find the “sweet spot” of appreciation and learning that can occur if we learn of others’ ways with interest and respect.


Eanes ISD has specific “Church/State” guidelines which help us achieve that sweet spot.  Over the next weeks we will bring in the culture that makes up this part of Texas/Austin/Eanes/Bridge Point.  We won’t ignore the cultural activities beyond our campus, but we will certainly not emphasize celebrations, observances or rituals of one over the other.  Our guidelines allow us to learn about religions and their customs.  Our guidelines allow us to use the manifestations (music, art, movement, performance) in non-devotional ways.  Our guidelines allow us to enjoy some of the related secular richness related to some holidays (think dreidel, snowmen, jingle bells) but no more than 10 days a season.  We will gatekeep balance, and welcome concerns and input as this season unfolds.


Your community grappled with this issue in a high-profile and serious way two decades ago.  Clergy, lay people, legal experts, experienced educators, parents and community members all came together to develop these guidelines dealing with “Church/State” issues. The members were thorough, mutually respectful and wise. I believe their work withstands the test of time. At Bridge Point will honor both letter and spirit of their work. If it seems in any way that we are not, please speak up. In this sometime sensitive area, there is a broad and comfortable middle ground with room enough for us all.



Sincerely,

M. Bradford Wirht
Principal





 

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