On Peace Education & Charlottesville

For Immediate Release

Contact: Dr. Timothy J. Purnell, Chief Executive Officer
Phone: 212-358-1250 x308
E-mail: tim@amshq.org

American Montessori Society
116 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10003-2163

August 18, 2017

Dear Fellow Montessorians,

The tragic events in Charlottesville have once again brought matters of race, of religion, of thought, and of character to the forefront of the American discussion.

As I reflect on recent events, in Virginia and overseas, I’m reminded that we are in dire need of Dr. Montessori’s wisdom in regards to peace, social justice, respect, and grace and courtesy.

As you know, peace and social justice are at the core of Montessori education, woven into the fabric of our school culture. It is not taught in isolation; peace occurs daily as children engage in their work and in the relationships they create with others and the environment.

Now more than ever I am convinced that we, as Montessori educators and advocates, must continue to champion and even redouble our efforts to bring peace into our classrooms, and by extension, our shared community.

Let me be clear: white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-Semitism, and fascist and intolerant slogans have no place in our community. They are antithetical to our society’s values of respect, integrity, diversity, responsibility, and inclusiveness.

We can be the difference so that tomorrow’s leaders will not see through the lens of hate, but instead look to peace, empathy, understanding, and love as the values to which they turn to solve their community’s problems. For again, Dr. Montessori’s words ring true:

“Education is the best weapon for peace.”

Part of the mission of the American Montessori Society is to provide you with the resources you need to champion Montessori values in your classroom and the world beyond. I encourage you to visit these sites to find inspiration for promoting peace in your schools.

I'm confident you will begin this new school year well prepared and actively involved in the conversations your students and fellow educators are having surrounding the violence and terror in Charlottesville, and the wave of hate that seems to be permeating throughout America and beyond its borders.

“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind,” Dr. Montessori wrote. It is up to us to see that our children fulfill that promise for themselves and their posterity.

Join me in approaching this charge with passionate determination and optimism.


Timothy Purnell AMS Executive Director

Timothy J. Purnell, EdD
Executive Director

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