Head of School Chris Kolovos On Yesterday’s Events in Washington

Dear BUA Family,

The images from the assault on the Capitol yesterday have stayed with me, and I imagine the same is true for many of you. There is something particularly upsetting about seeing rioters breaking Capitol windows, parading through the Statuary Hall unchecked, waving a Confederate flag near the entrance to the Senate, vandalizing Congressional offices, and posing for pictures on the dais of the Senate floor.

The Capitol is as close as we come to a national sacred space. Generations of American middle schoolers, including students now at BUA, have made the annual pilgrimage to Washington, DC to visit the Capitol, the Supreme Court, and the monuments on the National Mall. Even as an adult and student of history — familiar with both the beautiful, groundbreaking steps forward our country has taken in those halls and the ugliness of some of the policies and rhetoric that has come from those chambers — I can’t help but feel a sense of wonder when I visit. I think that’s why yesterday’s images made such an impact. Yesterday’s rioters momentarily pierced my vision of the Capitol as a safe, sacred space and upset my equilibrium.


Within a few hours, members of Congress were back on the floor going about the people’s business, condemning the riots and fulfilling their symbolic role in affirming the will of the people in the presidential election. Waking to the news that Congress had certified the election brought me more balance. We are moving back to normal.

We welcome students back to campus today. Like always, their teachers and I are here for them. If students want to talk about yesterday’s events, these extraordinary adults who know and love them will listen and help them process. And while we are not a partisan institution, there is nothing partisan about denouncing yesterday’s violence. The assault on the Capitol was wildly misaligned with our nation’s values and the core values of this school, most notably our commitment to a caring, inclusive community and our celebration of reasoned inquiry.

So, today, we return to our school rituals: class discussions, labs, hallway conversations, club meetings. There is comfort in those rituals. We will also find strength in community and weather this new challenge–like all the others in a most unusual school year–together. 


Chris Kolovos
Head of School

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