Reaffirming our commitment to safety and respect for all | #schoolsaftey

As the tragic crisis in Israel unfolds, we would like to reassure everyone in our school community that we are working in partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement officials to monitor the potential for any threats that could affect our school district.

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has reported that there are currently no active, credible threats to our city, region or state following the horrific attacks by Hamas militants last weekend and the war that has ensued. However, authorities also advise that there is concern that those ascribing to extremist ideologies may attempt to exploit the situation. 

Due to these concerns, we applaud Gov. Hochul’s direction this week for increased security measures for Jewish communities statewide. We also support her call for social media companies to increase monitoring for potential threats, and to prevent the proliferation of hateful and misleading content.

Please use caution when selecting sources of information related to this conflict, especially on social media platforms. Be aware that misinformation or biased perspectives may be presented as fact in some circumstances. 

The safety and security of every member of our school community is always a top priority throughout the City School District of Albany. Led by our district security team, we will continue to work together with law enforcement officials to monitor potential threats and respond as necessary. 

We ask for your partnership in these efforts as well. 

If you or your child see, hear or read something that makes you feel uncomfortable or threatened, say something immediately. We want our students to be comfortable reporting their concerns to a trusted adult at school, at home or in the community. We remind our employees to inform their supervisor immediately as well. 

Sadly, the outbreak of war in Israel is one of several armed conflicts around the world. These include Russia and Ukraine in bloody conflict for the past 18 months. Sudan embroiled in civil war. A military coup in Niger. Armenia and Azerbaijan engaging last month in military conflict over a disputed territory. 

Our hearts are with those in Israel and all around the world whose lives are in danger and disrupted by violence – and with those in our own community whose loved ones are suffering as a result. We know that these events can cause concern throughout our community, and we want to reaffirm resolutely that there is no place for hate in our school district. 

With students from more than 50 countries who speak more than 40 languages, we uplift all of the vibrant diversity that provides to our school district and our community. Our diversity is our greatest strength, and we value the rich cultures and broad perspectives this brings to every learning environment. 

Our schools are and will remain safe spaces for all. Our teachers, administrators and staff members will continue to foster age-appropriate, thoughtful and respectful discussions of world events, encouraging a climate of understanding and empathy.

We also would like to remind our students and families of the strong network of social-emotional supports available in our schools. These resources are available for any individual who would like additional support or a professional to talk with about unsettling events. 

In the words this week of New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Lestor W. Young Jr. and Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa: “By incorporating educational resources that encourage critical thinking, empathy and global awareness, we can promote a culture of acceptance and appreciation for diversity.”



Joseph Hochreiter


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