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Mamaroneck Principal, Moved By Students' Election Reactions, Urges Civility

Elizabeth Clain, principal at Mamaroneck High School, recently wrote a letter to her students after witnessing their strong reactions to the election, the likes of which she hadn't seen in her years as an educator.
Elizabeth Clain, principal at Mamaroneck High School, recently wrote a letter to her students after witnessing their strong reactions to the election, the likes of which she hadn't seen in her years as an educator. Photo Credit: Mamaroneck Public Schools Facebook

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Elizabeth Clain is the principal of Mamaroneck High School, and she recently drafted a letter to all her students, in light of the presidential election and the emotions and behaviors it has stirred in those students.

She first emailed the letter and then had her English teachers read it aloud for thoroughness' sake.

"I am writing you this letter as someone who has worked with young people for over 26 years, and I have taught through six presidential elections," Clain began. "In all these years I have never seen students have such a strong reaction to an election.

"Last week I spoke to students who were hurting, angry and genuinely afraid, and to students who are excited to see what our new president will do for the United States."

She then noted how the campaign had impacted civil discourse in the country but emphasized that civility was critical.

This is a community that has always valued the strength we gain from the diverse backgrounds of our faculty and student body. We are a public school that is steadfast in our guarantee that students of all political parties, ethnic backgrounds, religious groups and sexual identities feel welcome and at home in these halls.

In the aftermath of our election we must double down on our commitment to ensure that students continue to feel supported, respected and heard at MHS.  While you may not have backed the same presidential candidate as some of your classmates, please do not draw conclusions about why someone did or did not support your choice for president.

Clain then called on students not to use hateful speech or belittle each other -- "because by doing so you are degrading yourself and our country."

"We, at MHS, are better than this, and it is our duty and obligation, in our beautiful microcosm of American society, to be an example for others."

The letter was enthusiastically praised by former students and administrators, as well as members of the public, in the comments when the school district posted the letter on Facebook Monday.

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