Tāmaki Ethnic Women (TEW) Is Devastated By The New Lynn Terror Attack
Tāmaki Ethnic Women (TEW) is devastated by the New Lynn terror attack, and our hearts goes out to all the victims, bystanders and witnesses of the unfortunate event that unfolded and the trauma caused.
As parents and community members we are both personally and professionally committed to standing in unity against violence and in the promotion of belonging and safety for all.
We recognise that whilst the Prime Minister and other leaders have stated that the individual was acting alone, communities of colour are feeling particularly vulnerable and anxious about reprisals from the wider community. This includes concerns about our children returning to virtual school and face to face school (as subsequent alert levels allow).
For some, the attack has also triggered previous trauma. This fear has led to some:
Not wishing to leave their home, even to go grocery shopping for fear of reprisal.
Experiencing anxiety about their children’s safety at school—for example, an increase in bullying.
On this particular note, we are exploring the role of schools and what is currently in place for virtual and in-person learning to support:-
The facilitation of a safe space for all learners, to be able to share their experiences (if and when they may choose).
Learning opportunities that are presented as conversations unfold.
Professional development needed for these conversations to take place safely.
The school keeping track of potential changes in levels of engagement from affected children (not restricted to Muslim learners).
Teaching staff to explore their own individual responses and reactions (as this will have a long lasting impact on all learners).
The above is based on the principles that neutrality and silence in education reinforce discrimination and ongoing disparities.
As a group, we have come together and offered below actions to the schools that our children attend. We believe they may be helpful for every school to consider:-
1. Reach out to members of your community that can help guide the school in their responses.
2. Add as an agenda item for your next Board meeting
3. Review relevant policies and procedures
4. Audit the professional development currently in place for your teaching team
5. Reflect on the use of the UnRacism toolkit provided by the Ministry of Education
6. Offer support to members of our community.
We understand that schools have an increasing role to play as Aotearoa becomes more diverse as a nation. There is a real opportunity here to ensure an alignment of school values to practice. Let’s not miss this moment.