The 2020-2021 school year marks the start of my 22nd year as an educator.  The summer of 2020, has been difficult.  Just as we were closing out a school year where we spent the last two and a half months cut off from connecting in person with our students and their families, we observed the tragic killing of George Floyd.  The killing of Mr. Floyd sparked a loud cry for change that has been building up in our State, our Nation, and the World for a long time.

I have had conversations with my own children the past couple of months.  I have shared with them that I can’t understand what it feels like to be judged or discriminated against based on the color of my skin, and even though I can’t understand what that feels like, I do know and believe that it is morally wrong to hate, judge, or discriminate against anyone for any reason.

The opportunity to raise a child is a gift.  As parents, the lessons we teach in our homes have a direct impact on how our children see the world.  While schools can help shape who our children will become someday, there is no greater influence on our children than the lessons they learn in their homes. 

Throughout my career in education, I have found it difficult to resolve student conflicts when the morals and values taught in the home are not consistent with what is being taught in our schools.  Creating a world free from prejudice and discrimination takes everyone working together to instill the values of respect for others, love, and kindness. 

At St. Charles Public Schools we are committed to building schools where all are welcome, respected, and valued.  Experiencing anything in our schools that would lead your children to feel otherwise contradicts what our schools stand for, and we encourage you to reach out to our staff, our administration, and our School Board to share your suggestions on what we can do to better serve your children.

“Treat others the way you want to be treated,” a phrase often referred to as “The Golden Rule,” has been passed down for generations, taught within many religions, and embraced by many cultures. 

When I began my career as a teacher, I made the mistake of having a long list of rules for my classroom.  By the time I began transitioning into administration, my classroom had one rule, “treat others the way you want to be treated.”  If everyone could strive to embrace what human beings have been saying to each other for thousands of years, the world would be a more welcoming place.


Jeff Apse

Superintendent of Schools