The incidents surrounding George Floyd’s death are horrific, unnecessary and painful. The injustices that so many people of color have faced for so long are heartbreaking and in need of immediate change. Dr. James Lane, State Superintendent of Public Schools in Virginia states, “Eradicating systemic racism from schools and communities is the hardest work of our time, work I am committed to through listening, learning and standing with others against injustice!” I share this quote because it is a message that the school board, our staff and I stand behind.
During the last three months, we have faced a COVID-19 Pandemic that has forced us into mandatory school closures. We now are asked to quarantine, social distance, repeatedly wash our hands, don’t touch our faces and use personal protective equipment in order to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. The world we live in has certainly changed, but I am grateful and appreciative to all who have come together in order to provide for our wonderful City, and make sure that those who struggle during these trying times are cared for and supported.
As discussions continue regarding the reopening of schools, please know that RCPS is dedicated to providing a culture and environment for ALL students that is fair and equitable, regardless of race, gender, sexual identity or political affiliation. I ask our community to, once again, come together as a family, just as we have with the COVID-19 Pandemic, to provide care and support to all who are hurting, frightened or angry. Right now, we must also be mindful of the diversity within our schools, and how we need to continue to work on understanding ourselves within our ever changing community. Unified diversity is powerful, right and necessary in our school division and City now more than ever. Our school vision is Excellence in Education….EVERY student, EVERY day! The only way we accomplish this is by providing an equal, equitable and fair environment for all, together as one strong family!