Our community is in pain. The killing of George Floyd has rocked the nation during the time that our own city is in mourning with the recent loss of Mike Ramos. These incidents remind us—painfully—that racism not only persists, but is deeply ingrained in our world.
We respect everyone’s first amendment rights and hear the voices of our community members who march on our streets, and we stand with them. We acknowledge our role in addressing the profound impact of institutional racism on our children.
While the most recent events were documented by cell phone video, we recognize the presence of widespread, systemic injustice that is not as easily documented. Transmission and mortality rates of COVID-19 remind us that the same patterns of inequity extend to health care, to housing and to us in education.
As our school district rises to meet the challenges of the current health crisis—to feed our families, address the mental health of our youth and teach students — our mission and values have not changed. We commit to meet this challenge, too. We commit to ensuring our schools are safe havens where all children are respected and nurtured, where all children can achieve and grow, and where all children are guaranteed equity and justice.
We are a community dedicated to the social and emotional needs of our students and to trauma-informed teaching. As educators who stand with students through trauma, love them and work to heal them, we recognize the nationwide demonstrations are a symptom of deep, multi-generational trauma.
We support our students and will work hand-in-hand with the Austin community to heal.