A letter from Head of School Todd Clingman addressing social and racial injustices, written for the families, faculty, staff and friends of North Cobb Christian School.
Dear NCCS Family,
It is with a humble and contrite spirit that I begin this message to you all — a message that, in full transparency, I feel inadequate to give. Yet, I cannot keep silent in the face of the violent reality of social and racial injustices that we are experiencing in our country. The death of George Floyd and countless other African American men and women — who, though created in the image of God, have fallen at the hands of racism — are inexcusable, wrong, and beyond comprehension. My heart, like yours, is in anguish. Honestly, it has been difficult even to put this message into words because words, themselves, are inadequate. Yet, words are a starting place, and we all must start.
We must start with ourselves — asking God to search our hearts and reveal areas of prejudice and bitterness (Psalm 139:23-24). We must start with our families — choosing to have open conversations with our children about racial diversity (Revelation 7:9), Christ’s work of reconciliation (Ephesians 2:14), and the evils of racism (Proverbs 22:6). And we must start with our school — this precious place called NCCS. Together, we are the body of Christ, and when one member hurts, we all hurt (1 Corinthians 12:26). Right now, we stand with our hurting African American brothers and sisters at North Cobb Christian School during this tragic time. We must ensure that our speech and actions, our policies and procedures, our resources and opportunities reflect the open arms of our Savior and leave no room for inequality (James 2:1, 8-9). Let me be inexplicably clear: racial prejudice and injustice in any form has absolutely no place within the body of Christ and no place at North Cobb Christian School (Colossians 3:11). Indeed, we would have NCCS be a place where the rich diversities of race and culture are celebrated as part of God’s ethnically diverse kingdom (Psalm 67:4, John 12:32).
This is not a new conversation for our school family, as we have long sought racial equality within our walls and halls, but it is now a renewed conversation. We have an opportunity to move forward with renewed convictions. We can do better, and, by God’s grace, we will do better (Zechariah 4:6).
This week, the school’s leadership team and I have engaged in conversations with African American parents, faculty, and alumni. We have listened, and we will continue to do so. We have prayed, and we will continue to do so. And we are putting our convictions into action. I commit to keeping you posted on the progress of our efforts in the weeks and months to come and will be sharing more details regarding NCCS’s strategy on diversity and race relations. Be assured that we are tangibly putting action behind our words, bringing good from our collective grief.
In closing, I was moved by this quote from Cherie Harder, president of The Trinity Forum: “In a fallen and unjust world, we love imperfectly, and see through a glass darkly, our vision obscured by our own biases, filters, and scars. But the call to love our neighbor … is not optional, but a summons to partake in God’s work. May it be said that they will know we are Christians by our love.” I encourage us all not to take this call lightly, but rather to extend our love to people of all races and backgrounds, ensuring that our definition of “neighbor” mirrors God’s own.
Between now and the perfect reconciliation we will experience in eternity, let us commit to love each other well and to love each other better. I believe that we can.
Head of School