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October 31, 2018
Notes on Violence from the Head of School

By John McKinstry, Head of School

There is an alarming current of tribalism running through our country, with some political leaders giving voice to the basest of human instincts.  This current is manifesting itself in unspeakable violence such as the recent mailing of pipe bombs to some political leaders and the gunman who killed congregants of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

In such dark times, it is important to remember that we are all one people, with the same spirit inhabiting each of us, a spirit that can move us and guide us to light, love and hope.  George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, spoke of an ocean of light overcoming the ocean of darkness.  This light, this spirit, this word, has been with us from the beginning of time. History records times when “darkness [covers] the earth and gross darkness the people,” but we also know that the Light can and does arise and shine on us.

Know that at Lansdowne Friends School, we unite with our fellow human beings in resisting this darkness. We profess our love and unity with all the world’s people, and know the truth of the beatitude “Blessed are the Peacemakers.”  We will continue with our work of teaching our students respect, listening, and solving conflicts peacefully. Just as we are one community here at LFS, so we hope that our graduates and families spread the word that the whole world is one community that can become the peaceable kingdom.