Gould’s Position on Executive Orders Regarding Immigration

February 8, 2017

Dear Gould Community,

A few thoughts on the impact of the recent executive orders regarding immigration.

Gould is a community that seeks to reflect and celebrate our national and global diversity. We are fortunate to be the home—and we use the word home because that is what Gould has become, and will remain, for all who attend—of faculty and students from twenty different countries spanning five continents. It is our duty to support our students and their families who cannot help but feel threatened by the message these orders, and the accompanying commentary, send.

We, as a school, are deeply concerned about the national tone being set and its impact on the well-being of our students and community. We are following the court proceedings regarding the legality of the orders closely, but felt compelled to make our position known to our community.

Gould Academy is a global community. Our Core Principles call on us “to prepare students for successful and responsible global citizenship,” for which a culturally diverse student body is essential. International travel and the development of our students as global citizens are embedded into our curriculum as early as ninth grade, when our students travel to China, Tanzania, and Ecuador and follows students through their time in Bethel. Gould alumni live and work in dozens of countries.

Gould students and faculty maintain a strong connection with the Somali immigrant community in Lewiston, Maine. Each weekend, members of the Gould community travel to assist members of the refugee community to learn English, prepare for citizenship exams, or work with young children. We believe in welcoming this community to our state and our country, not in shutting them out.

The recent executive orders do not impact our students specifically. They do, however, affect us all and create uncertainty for all international and domestic families about students returning from future international travel. Any Gould student or parent who has concerns about their ability to travel to and from Gould should contact Martha Whittington, Director of International Student Programs.

Finally, regardless of the turmoil beyond Gould, we will adhere to our Code of Conduct which calls on us to maintain a school climate “that supports diversity and the free exchange of ideas” and that we “act in a manner that fosters civility, mutual respect, kindness, and tolerance.”

Our commitment to national and global diversity, inclusion, and global travel are central to Gould’s core principles and high academic standards. Thank you to the students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and friends who support this work everyday.

Sincerely,

Matt Ruby
Head of School

Wendy Penley
Chair, Board of Trustees

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