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An Equitable Education for All

Sandy Radic-Oshiro
School Psychologist

SKILL OF THE WEEK: Appreciating our differences and agreeing to disagree

Dear Students, Families, and Teachers,

As many of you know, I work in a lot of schools around Humboldt County and I can sincerely say that Loleta Elementary School is one of my favorite schools because of our students. Loleta Elementary School is one of the most diverse schools in Humboldt County with families from many different backgrounds, languages, religions, gender identities, ethnicities, and experiences. This diversity makes us strong and beautiful!
Many of you may have experienced some stress with this week’s presidential election and the different opinions that people have about how our country should run. Voting is one of the most important ways Americans, as individuals, have a voice. Voting with my children is one of the proudest moments I experience in my life. When I vote, I feel a part of the decisions in our country and I cherish this right. My parents came from Croatia which is in Eastern Europe. I remember the day my father became a United States citizen and was able to vote. He felt pride with this right and has exercised his right to vote since then. We, at Loleta Elementary School, encourage students to have a voice and tell teachers and Ms. Chapman what they think about how we should run our school. Many of the grown-ups in your lives have participated in committees and discussions about what they feel is important and we hope you and the grown-ups know that they can share ideas or concerns at any time. For the grown ups, we have a Loleta Elementary School Feedback form that can be filled out to share ideas, thoughts or concerns. I encourage all participants in our community to use this form too, including students. These forms are in the office with Ms. Michelle and Ms. Lisa and on our website. I also encourage students to also fill out this form if you have any ideas for Ms. Chapman and the teachers to consider. There is also a comment/suggestion box that you can put a comment in for our school located in the front of the office. Please let your voice be known!
Yes, but...Saying no Politely
I think one of the most important things I have learned over the last couple of years is that it is okay to “agree to disagree”. There are few things in life that are “right” or “wrong” and most of us know what they are when it comes to how we treat each other. Some of us may experience high emotions or passion about your opinion and that is okay. However, sometimes we may not be able to help someone understand our opinion or belief and that is okay too. We can politely tell the person politely our belief and say that we “agree to disagree”. We can respect all people, regardless of their belief system. It is important that we share our options in a civil way which means listening with:

● Open minds, ears, and hearts
● Speaking in a polite way including being careful of tone of voice
● Using empathy and trying to think about others life experiences
● Assume positive intentions and that the person is doing the best they can

This week many of you may notice that we have posted the below posters in your classrooms to remind us that at our school, we welcome everyone. This means that all individuals are respected and appreciated, regardless of how you look, who you love, and what you feel and believe.

I encourage you to practice “agreeing to disagree” and trying to see the point of view of another person by using your empathy skills.
Remember, our differences make us stronger and we are all in this together. CommUNITY!

Ms. Sandy (707) 834-2861