Message from Head of School: Buffalo Shooting

May 15, 2022

Dear Members of the CFS Community,

While we have been celebrating Alumni Weekend and all the positive things that our school community offers young scholars today, an opposite, terrifying, and most sickening event unfolded in Buffalo, NY, where a young racist white teenager intentionally slaughtered innocent people of color, young and old, at a grocery store; black citizens - moms, dads, children, friends - simply going about their weekend routines as anyone of us would want to do on any given day.

The premediated assault flows from the racism harbored by too many in our society and fueled by hateful propaganda. My mind is outraged by this act of terror and the sheer lunacy from which it springs, promoted by a fringe yet too familiar part of our society. My heart is broken over the loss of innocent life and the shuddering emotional ripples men and women of color and the scholars in our school must feel each time such senseless and brutal taking of another person’s life occurs. Such acts of violence intend to have an effect which is to invoke fear and helplessness in the hearts and minds of Black Americans and other people of color. That cannot succeed.

CFS chooses not to be silent and therefore complicit. We earnestly seek and promote another way. We have placed a Black Lives Matter banner on our school sign for a reason. Some disagree and wish to reduce it to a political slogan rather than recognize it for what it is, a committed and purposeful statement aligning our minds and hearts to making a difference first by simply acknowledging that our Black brothers and sisters, children of God’s creating and nurturing as we all are, matter. Starting here, giving voice and witness to God’s intentions allows us to confront and soberly address a cultural past that has neither given full value to every human being nor respect for their God-given dignity. But it is only a starting point, and it would ring hollow very quickly if we didn’t do more. Our educational program and the spiritual underpinnings by which clear thinking, personal commitment and dedicated pursuit of justice takes shape and remains at the heart of what we choose to do as educators and fellow human beings.

The journey has been made arduous once again by a senseless act of brutality, and our hearts grieve, but this has not stifled our spirit or intention to be a school community devoted to making a difference. Our young scholars, indeed all of us, are applying our hearts to wisdom and voices, hands and feet to greater service for love’s sake in the relentless pursuit of justice and peace. I pray that you find this to be true here and that our abiding work will add to the solution we all seek in addressing racism, violence, discord and oppression.

May God’s presence and blessing be revealed in and by this undertaking, and, wherever you are, may God’s peace be with you.

N. Sherrill
The Church Farm School is an independent boarding and day school for boys in grades 9-12 located in Exton, PA. Founded in 1918 to provide an excellent education to young men from limited means, Church Farm School now serves boys from a range of socio-economic circumstances who are seeking an extraordinary educational opportunity. The school offers a challenging college preparatory curriculum and an exceptional level of personal attention, with class sizes averaging between just 7 and 12 students.