Advanced Creative Writing wrote and shared this letter with FALA on Tuesday February 27th at the beginning of school.
This is FALA!
Dear FALA Community,
In light of reoccurring school shootings and gun violence, the Florida school shooting was a tipping point for us. Our creative writing class has decided to speak out to students and staff here at FALA in order to portray our deep concerns with the issue and show everyone love and support.
We know some students and even staff members here are hurting for various reasons, and we would just like to say, firstly, that you are supported, loved, and definitely not alone. We encourage you to speak to someone about how you feel, be it a counselor, the dean, a teacher, or a classmate. If speaking to an adult or even a friend is frightening or uncomfortable for you, we then hope you make art in whichever form impassions you. Being in this human condition involves the good and the bad. Get it out in your art.
FALA is a community, it is a family. This is our call for unity. This is our call for more love. For more trust. Many of us at FALA are here for the same reason: to thrive and do art. So why not thrive and do art together, heal together?
We are creating our own reality here at FALA. We are all here. We are all humans with feelings.
THIS IS FALA, WE ARE NOT A NORMAL HIGH SCHOOL. We do not want to be a normal school. We’re not in a teen flick with set-in-stone categories you’re supposed to fit into. The normal high schools, and the world around us, are becoming more and more divided, less united. We all have our friend groups, our tribe, the same people we eat with, the same people day in and day out. I know we don’t feel as if we are excluding anyone, since most people have a friend group to sit with, but in forming these groups we, too, have become divided. Less trusting of each other. We, as part of the FALA Community, believe that it is time for us to bridge the gap between social groups, and unite as one community, regardless of who your closest friends are. Be mindful and inclusive of the people around you. This isn’t to say you should stop hanging out with your friends; we simply hope you will widen your field of view and try to sit and eat with the kid who always eats alone, or pair up with the classmate who never has a partner in class activities. We know this is something that has been said in every advisory, and every assembly, and even from different teachers; and yet we go back to the muscle memory of cliques and exclusion. But we, as your peers, truly feel that this has been a sort of tipping point in how we move forward in everyday life. This opens up the path to learn how to love more, communicate more, and share more of our lives with each other. It is surely possible, and a step forward in the right direction to make sure teachers and students feel like their school is a safe place.
We want to hear your voice, because your voice matters. Take FALA back! We have forgotten how and why FALA is different. WE ARE SPECIAL!! Let’s not lose that magic. This is a school where you can really express yourself and feel safe. It is a school you can leave your imprint on. The magic of FALA is that we all have the option to speak about how we feel or think without the fear of being shut down if those thoughts/feelings are “different” than everyone else’s. That is what FALA is about, that is what FALA should continue to be about.
What can you do today:
First, think about what you are doing. Thinking is hard work and it is absolutely
necessary right now.
Think about what you’re doing, who you are reaching out to.
Think about what you’re doing and saying on social media.
Build the FALA you want, and remember how magical we are. Let’s not be a “normal” high school. Let’s be inclusive. Let’s be creative. Let’s be ourselves. And take our community back. We are creating our own reality. Like Hannah Montana says “life’s what you make it, so lets make it rock”
Give love give love give love give love.
Let’s take care of each other.