I want to express my heartbreak over several recent disturbing and serious events, and as a call to action to all of us, in particular those of us who are white, to combat the pernicious, deep-rooted racism and harm that our communities of color are experiencing.
I also want to acknowledge the additional layers of trauma and pain that our students, families, staff and leaders of color are experiencing, compounding the disproportionate amount of stress and suffering many are already feeling during COVID-19, and provide necessary supports.
To our community members of color, we see you, we respect you and we support you. Our district’s leaders of color in particular have helped open our eyes and ears to the tragedies happening around us that may have not otherwise made headlines in the news sources many of us consume or surfaced in conversations in the social circles we belong to. As an institution committed to actively disrupting racism, we know that the fight against racism, oppression and hate cannot fall by default on our community members of color. We must lead it together.
And we know that it is not enough to simply speak out and condemn racism when we see it. To be true to our core values, to commit to destroying racism, to disrupt the vulnerability inherent in being a person of color in a society that allows for the continued violence against Black and Brown individuals – George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Christian Cooper, Breonna Taylor, most recently among them – we must strive to do more and to do better.
I want you to know that the district, including principals and staff, are working to support those who are impacted, by leading conversations and lessons around the recent incidents. We also encourage you to continue to connect with community resources for support, whether a neighborhood center, faith-based community, social network or other.
Thank you for your partnership in talking with your children often about racism. Our families of color must have these conversations on a regular basis, most likely daily.
Our youth are making sense of the world around them and they need our help. Here you can find tips and resources on engaging in challenging conversations with children.
If your student is in need of support during this time, please reach out to your principal or trusted adult in the building. It is so important for us that our students of color know how much we love and care for them, now more than ever.