Dear Austin ISD families,

We know that for our families and staff, the news of senseless and terrible shootings in Georgia has cast a long and dark shadow. Our thoughts, grief and sympathy go out to the victims, their families, and the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

We know that attacks targeting Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic. Simply put we must stand up and condemn this violence and the hateful rhetoric that leads to it.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and their history are a core part of what makes America an exceptional nation. Their accomplishments, leadership and contributions to society are innumerable and invaluable. We want to state right here and now: we stand with our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Hate speech and violent crimes are a disease that can only be cured through knowledge, understanding and engagement. At Austin ISD we will continue to strive every day to build a student population that is inclusive and accepting to all, condemning violence where we find it, and supporting victims in times such as this.

Stephanie S. Elizalde, Ed.D.,