In the wake of a mob storming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Rye residents are hearing the heads of the school system and the county government speak out.
Schools boss Eric Bryne offered the assistance of school counselors, psychologists, or social workers for students looking to process the events. “The school district is more than a collection of buildings; it is a respectful community where acceptance and tolerance are foundational pillars,” said Byrne in a note to parents. “As a community, it is critical that we stand together, support each other, listen to each other, and condemn acts of violence.”
Rye guy and County boss condemned today’s mob, saying in part “We have a situation that represents today what is culmination of a number of years where we have broken down the proper barriers that protect us as a democracy… Totalitarianism always knocks. It’s always easier to rule completely if one man rules the whole nation, without a need for messy debate. You have that in Russia, China, North Korea, Iran – and we don’t want the here in the United States of America.”
The full comments from Byrne and Latimer follow:
From: Eric Byrne
Date: Wed, Jan 6, 2021 at 5:47 PM
Subject: Letter from the Superintendent Regarding Events in Washington, D.C.
To: Rye City School District Recipients
Dear RCSD Parents and Guardians,
It is likely that your children may have seen or heard news of the violent acts at the U.S. Capital today. The images are disturbing and may be difficult for children (and adults) to process and could result in anxiety or fear. When you add this to the stresses already in place due to the pandemic, the result is that some members of our school community may be experiencing feelings of instability and upset.
If your students need to speak to someone about their concerns, please reach out to one of our school counselors, psychologists, or social workers. Contact information is below. Teachers and administrators will remain watchful of your children during school-related discussions about current events. Please share any concerns you have about your children with their teachers, school psychologists, guidance counselors, and/or administrators.
The RCSD’s mission is to support the children of Rye. The school district is more than a collection of buildings; it is a respectful community where acceptance and tolerance are foundational pillars. As a community, it is critical that we stand together, support each other, listen to each other, and condemn acts of violence. Please reach out if we can be of assistance.
Eric Byrne, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
County Executive George Latimer Statement on Attack at U.S. Capitol
“We’ve all watched television this afternoon with some sense of horror about the attack at the Capitol that has happened when a large group of individuals stormed the Senate and House of Representatives. They marched inside into the chambers and disrupted the work of both houses as they seek to complete the electoral process of the Electoral College. I had to remind myself, and all of us, that this is a nation of law – not of men. We set rules and standards for a reason – and we pride ourselves as nation on following those rules because it gives equal opportunity for all and an equal sense of responsibility we have to each other as fellow residents and citizens.
“In the history of this nation, no matter how much conflict we have had – and there is conflict built in every day in the halls of government – we never go from disagreements as fellow Americans to inciting violence or expecting that a mob can control a legislative body in order to impose its will outside of its legislative structures.
“We have the right to free speech and the right to free assembly but you don’t have the right to impose your will, which you perceive to be the truth, upon all the rest of Americans because you feel so strongly about it. We all feel strongly about the things we believe in but we don’t go beyond that in the world of violence to impose that.
“We have a situation that represents today what is culmination of a number of years where we have broken down the proper barriers that protect us as a democracy. We have existed for over 250 years as a democracy, but no democracy has existed indefinitely. Totalitarianism always knocks. It’s always easier to rule completely if one man rules the whole nation, without a need for messy debate.
“You have that in Russia, China, North Korea, Iran – and we don’t want the here in the United States of America. It is time for our fellow Americans to understand that the election process has played out and has given us a new President and a new Congress. In two years time, if individuals are dissatisfied with Congress, they get a chance to change the House of Representatives and 1/3 of the Senate – in 4 years they can change the President and the Congress again. And they have that opportunity at the state and local level all throughout. That’s the American system. Mob-ocracy is not the American system. I know that today people who are Democrats and Republicans will join voices to decry what happened in today in Washington. Let this be a reminder we have a civic responsibility to not only vote but to uphold the basics of our democratic society. Or else, as Ben Franklin said ‘it’s democracy only if we can keep it.’”