My Commitment to Democracy

Many of us are struggling with visceral responses to an election that validated bigotry, sexism, xenophobia, and disrespect as American values.  Swirling horror, grief, fear, and shame knot our stomachs and chests.  As we search for grounding, try to figure out what we need to learn, and plot a course forward, I make these commitments to STEM K-8 students and families:

  1. At STEM K-8 you will be safe. I reaffirm my commitment to searching out bias and fighting bigotry.  I will stand by our Muslim families, black families, Mexican families, Native families, Asian families, immigrant families, gay families, white families, female students, students with disabilities, male students, transgender students—all students.  No one will hurt, threaten, or deport you without having to deal with me.  We will face bigotry and fear by working to create a school where we all belong.
  2. Your voices are important. I will listen.  I will work with staff and students to understand one another, solve conflicts, live with diverse and conflicting beliefs, listen, and interact respectfully.  Respect means acting in a way that shows care about others’ feelings and well-being. I will work with staff to help students voice their fears, anxieties, and hopes, and build inclusivity.
  3. I am committed to teaching students to become responsible members of a democratic society. We will participate in discussions that build knowledge and understanding.  We will learn to think critically about facts and opinions, weigh sources, question assumptions, examine our own biases, receive feedback, and challenge one another respectfully.
  4. I will love and respect each and every one of you. I will stand by you, learn from mistakes, challenge you to learn more and become even better human beings.  Together we will have experiences that prove love and understanding overcome fear and hatred.


Benjamin Ostrom

STEM K-8 Principal