Community Comes Together to Reflect on Boston Marathon Bombings

This morning, The Athenian School paused from our daily routine to acknowledge and reflect on yesterday’s events at the Boston Marathon. “In some ways, it matters less what we say in these moments, than that we’re sitting here together, side by side,” Head of School Eric Niles opened the all-school 6th-12th meeting. Eric began by reviewing the facts of yesterday’s tragedy. Eric outlined the bombings and impact in Boston, as well as presented facts about a few other tragedies in the world, including the violent deaths in Iraq related to their impending election, as well as the recent suicide of a Saratoga teenager. Eric reminded the school about what it means “to know” and cautioned “Sometimes knowledge takes patience. It’s going to take us some time. We are going to need to use that patience so we don’t jump too fast, we don’t ruin more lives, while we are trying to get to know [what happened].” Eric offered words of hope: “We do know that there’s great violence in the world…but that’s not where I want to focus today…I want to focus on all the care in the world. Send your thoughts to those that need them; make sure we’re all ok. We’re a community. We’re safe. And we care.”

Echoing Eric’s caution about jumping to conclusions, Kalyan Ali Balaven, Upper School Humanities teacher, shared a spoken-word poem about the baseless accusations flying around social media after the bombings. In a show of solidarity for those affected by the bombings, Jessica Donovan, Head of the Middle School, led a moment of silence. Head of the Upper School Dick Bradford concluded with the reading of Wild Geese by Mary Oliver.

Dick and Kal will be hosting a lunch conversation today for community members who would like to further process yesterday’s events.

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver