Editor's Note: Barnegat Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Latwis sent this letter out to help families looking for ways to discuss the tragedy in MN.  We have chosen to include his letter and make it part of a featured guest column.

Our country is hurting. The pain, outrage, and desperation felt by so many across the country are also felt here in Barnegat. The upsetting and overwhelming images from Minneapolis and other cities in this great nation are something our children have seen on TV, social media, and in the newspaper. It’s important for us to carefully weigh our responses to help them both cope and find inspiration to be part of meaningful change.

For those looking for ways to address what’s happening with your children, please consider the following resources for students and families:

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 As an educator, I am optimistic that we can shape both the hearts and minds of our next generation. We can teach them that it’s ok to disagree, but to do so civilly; that it’s ok to stand up for what you believe in, but also seek to understand the other side; and that it’s ok to be different, but those differences should not divide us.

Each and every one of our students is valued and important, and it’s important that we let them know that in school, at home, and in our community. We are so proud of our students and witness the respect and compassion they have for one another and joy they share in their interactions in the classrooms, in our halls and during extracurricular activities. Let’s make sure that we continue to let them know just how important those qualities are to build a strong society.

If you need assistance helping your child through this difficult time, our school community of counselors and teachers are here to help. Please reach out to your child’s Principal or Guidance Counselor. We know how overwhelming the last few months have been, so please know that, although our doors are physically shut, we continue to be here for your family. 

Stay Safe and Be Well.