From the Head of School

In Response to the Derek Chauvin Verdict

  • Letters from the Head of School
Alfred F. Dugan III

Sacred Heart Goal III:
Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to a social awareness which impels to action.

Sacred Heart Goal III, Criterion III:
The school, drawing from Catholic Social Teaching, educates students to analyze and work to eradicate social structures, practices, systems and values that perpetuate racism and other injustices.

- Sacred Heart Schools United States and Canada


Dear Princeton Academy Family,

I write tonight with prayers for peace and hope for our young men.

I was in a Zoom Breakout Room session devoted to “Promoting BIPOC Student and Faculty Wellness” with New Jersey Association of Independent School colleagues as part of a professional development series focused on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging in Our Schools when I learned that Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

The wellbeing of our students, our families, our alumni, our faculty & staff, our Board of Trustees and all members of our community is our top priority, always. Our focus is and always will be on our boys. The physical and emotional safety of our young men is paramount. Therefore, in this moment, our Educators of the Sacred Heart are ready and willing to facilitate safe spaces in a developmentally appropriate manner throughout the day tomorrow for our young men to share their feelings and their thoughts if they so choose. In a letter to faculty and staff earlier today I shared the following:

Dear Team -

Many of us have been following the trial of Derek Chauvin over the past several weeks. I know that many of our young men and families have also been watching this moment in time unfold with deep care and concern. As Educators of the Sacred Heart, it is imperative that we are prepared to support our boys, our families and each other as the trial's deliberation results in a decision. This is a pivotal moment of great sensitivity in the lives of us all. Each of us has our own feelings to process and acknowledge - let us be here for one another. At the same time, we are called to this moment to help guide our boys with love. Let us be there for them.

As experts in our relative age-groups and domains, I ask that we prepare to create a safe space for our students to share their feelings. With this in mind, let us first begin by reflecting on our own Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria. At your earliest convenience, please take 5 -10 minutes to reflect upon those Criteria that you see as most relevant in this moment. While all of the Goals pertain deeply, I ask that you take a deep look at the Criterion within Goals 3 & 4.

Additionally, I ask that you set aside time to review the following resources:

Resources to Foster Community and Perspective 
How to Talk About Traumatic Events and Tragedies
School Climate, Safety, and Crisis
What to Say to Kids When the News is Scary

Don't Say Nothing

I am here for you and I am grateful for your devotion to our boys' wellbeing.

As a diverse, Sacred Heart community of belonging, we beat with one heart - Cor Unum. This evening, collectively, I invite us all to pause, look within and reflect in a moment of Espacio, sacred silence. We are together on this journey toward a just society on behalf of our boys’ future. My care is for you and your sons. Please lean on Princeton Academy to support your family now and always. My door is always open for you. Please feel free to email or call me at any time.

Tonight, let us pray for the family and loved ones of George Floyd, and for all of our brothers and sisters who have suffered at the hands of racial injustice and violence. 

With love, prayers and hope,

  • Cor Unum
  • Goals and Criteria
  • injustice

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