Message

Sender
BSA Communications
Subject
Important Message to BSA Community
Message

Dear BSA Community,

 

I am writing today to share some thoughts and provide a bit of general information, largely about the concerns raised on the Survivors of BSA Instagram page.

 

Before I get to other matters, I want to first thank you for having the courage and conviction to step forward and share your insight. All students should feel safe and welcome at BSA, and your conviction will ensure we make important changes. I also want to remind you of options offered by Baltimore City Public Schools to engage in these efforts:

  • Telehealth counseling by professional staff—Learn more by reviewing our letter on April 23
  • Virtual office hours regarding sexual misconduct allegations via the City Schools’ Department of Fair Practices – learn more in our May 6 letter
  • The creation of an Advisory Council including School Family Council leadership with participation of students, families and staff members 


Back in April, City Schools asked me to step back in communicating with the school community, due to the ongoing investigations and desire to organize a district-guided response. They noted, and I agree, that it would be difficult to lead this response while participating in the investigations. Although this silent period was uncomfortable for me and no doubt raised questions about my engagement for you, I understand their thinking and accept my position in the larger context as a City Schools employee.

 

All that said, I want to state clearly and unequivocally that every student should be safe at school and, particularly for us, at the BSA campus.  

 

I believe we need voices from all parts of our community to consider how to accomplish the goal of safety at BSA and across City Schools. I welcome the energy, creativity and thoughtfulness of every partner engaged in realizing this goal.

 

As the various teams engage in this work, I think it will be valuable for community members to consider the challenges and the promise of the BSA experience. I hope we will thoughtfully explore the positives and negatives associated with current practices as well as proposed new ones. That process may present difficult choices.

With new leadership coming soon, BSA is at a juncture to imagine its future in many, many dimensions. I would urge every member of the community to think deeply about that future and be open to hearing the many voices who will participate in the conversations that will be happening in the coming months. We will all work to make the environment at BSA conducive to health, safety and learning.

 

Chris Ford