A Friends school, pre-K to 12, on 47 acres in East Falls, Philadelphia


Head of School Addresses Community after Texas Tragedy

Head of School Addresses Community after Texas Tragedy

May 24, 2022

Dear Members of the Penn Charter School Community,

Our hearts are heavy. We may hold both profound sadness and anger, and we long for another way. I know this is how I feel.

Many of us ended our school and work day and arrived home to learn the tragic news of another mass shooting, this one in an elementary school in Texas, which inexplicably took the lives of 19 children and two adults.  

Ten people killed last week in Buffalo, New York, were targeted because of their race, and many have yet to be buried. Last weekend in Philadelphia, there were multiple shootings resulting in six deaths. There continues to be a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Asian American communities. Hate crimes against Jews and antisemitic incidents are on the rise. The LGBTQ+ community, especially LGBTQ+ youth, have been targeted. These are but a few examples of violence and hatred that we too often face as a society.

No one should be prey or fall victim to hate or violence because of who they are, the color of their skin, their personal beliefs, who they love, or for any other reason.

While no one seems to have the antidote to these issues, I know that we as parents and educators need to be acutely aware of our children's needs and well-being during these times and in the aftermath of these mass shootings. Please know that we are attuned to the needs of all of our students, but in particular Lower School, given the age of the victims. Penn Charter's divisional leadership and school counselors will have plans in place to support and be present to students and adults tomorrow and in the days ahead. Please be in touch with division directors and/or school counselors with any specific questions or concerns. 

Please hold in the light all those who have suffered from these horrific events.

Darryl J. Ford

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