April 20, 2021
Dear Families and Staff,
As the world witnessed this afternoon, the former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was found guilty on all three counts for the murder of George Floyd. With hope and incredible grace, George Floyd’s family waited for the verdict, knowing that it would not bring George Floyd back but wishing to see justice for what was done to him.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”- Dr. King
Deep rooted structures and systems that lend themselves to injustice and inhumanity must be addressed with vigilance and intentionality. We have an opportunity to come out of this with clarity around what it is that we are trying to grow as a nation. Extraordinary circumstances such as what we have experienced this past year have had a profound impact on each of us. The pervasive anxiety and stress endured by those who have been victims of racism throughout history impact their wellbeing and health. We must speak up and stand with them. We must do better! We will do better!
Our children are watching and experiencing these events with us and look to us for answers. It is important that we respond to them patiently and appropriately. It is also important for them to see that speaking against injustice is an honorable thing to do and we each have a part in creating a compassionate and empathetic world.
Our Educational Services Division has supported teachers in delivering Anti-Racism and Social Emotional Learning lessons and other opportunities across all grade levels this school year and will continue to support students in having safe classroom conversations. A new partner this year includes the Mosaic Project and they have created a very helpful parent action guide for having family conversations related to justice and equity. (Parent Action Guide here). Here are also additional resources available through various organization specifics to this case.
Learning for Justice toolkit for families
Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions. We are here to support you.