Dear Staff, Students, Families, and Community:
As we see what is happening across our community and country in response to the senseless killing of George Floyd and the deaths of many black Americans before him, we cannot help but think about our role in the resulting conversation. We must face our shortcomings and increase our efforts to listen to the experiences of students and staff of color. We must be sure to progress from talk to specific and intentional actions. Now is a time for examination, conversation, self-reflection, and action towards progress and being more inclusive of all people.
We are committed to putting in the work to better educate ourselves on the issues of racism, discrimination, and prejudice, and recognizing our role in either interrupting or perpetuating inequitable treatment, and coming up with actionable steps to ensure that true progress is made towards a more respectful and accepting school environment. We are committed to all of our students, families, and staff, and we must have a renewed commitment to take the conversation to a greater depth to truly get to the core of the issues we may not realize they face, and address feelings they may experience at a much deeper level. While we have begun several efforts and conversations around diversity and inclusivity, recent feedback indicates there is much more we can be doing. We can and we must do better. The future of our community depends on it.
The work of true reform around issues of social justice will not happen overnight, and we will need everyone’s unified efforts. We commit to holding each other accountable when we see injustice in our schools, and we must be open to both listening and making changes that address those injustices. Now is the time for all leaders in all communities to self-reflect and move forward in unison to help resolve the issues we all face.
Our pledge to our students, families, and staff is to increase our efforts and awareness so that students, staff, and families never feel uncomfortable, left out, or unwelcome in our district. Together we will work to make District 51 a place where everyone, regardless of race, religion, culture, or gender identity is truly safe, welcomed, and valued as a part of the D51 family.
Dr. Diana Sirko, District 51 Superintendent
Dr. Brian Hill, District 51 Asst. Superintendent
Tom Parrish, District 51 School Board President
Paul Pitton, District 51 School Board Vice President
Dr. Amy Davis, District 51 School Board Member
Doug Levinson, District 51 School Board Member
Trish Mahre, District 51 School Board Member
Posted on 06/05/2020 on https://www.d51schools.org/news/what_s_new/d51_leadership_statement_on_racism__reflection