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#SAISDsolidarity #BlackLivesMatter

George FloydAs a community committed to respect for all, SAISD honors the memory of George Floyd and prays for his family and friends. Let it be known that the community of our district suffers with them in a sense of great loss and of great injustice.

Now is a most important time for all of us to examine where we stand and what we truly believe when it comes to asking who is our brother, who is our sister. If we can not say it is everyone, then it is a time to re-examine what we have promised to be as a nation.

As a school district where most of our students are people of color, we must continually re-examine what we are doing in our educational system to ensure that we speak to affirm the commitment of respect for all humanity, regardless of color or creed.

link to supt letterThe horrifying death of George Floyd is just one incident in a continuous series of brutal deaths of people of color or people who look or think differently.

But as educators, we must ask ourselves where does our responsibility lie in avoiding another death as that of George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery  or Breonna Taylor or any death that comes from the result of hate or racism or ignorance or anger.

What is our role to protect the future of the children we see now in our classrooms? What is our role in assuring our personnel, including police officers, do not act out of hate or racism or ignorance or anger?

Racism and racist violence, either by action or non-action is wholly unacceptable and corrosive to our democracy. We support peaceful protest as it has long played an essential role in civic discourse and democratic progress in our nation.

We encourage law enforcement officials to listen, empathize and de-escalate. We have seen the relationships and partnerships forged between our District police and our community. We know it can be done.

A school district has a huge role in creating the future. As outlined in our SAISD Bill of Rights, everyone’s rights must be treated with respect. SAISD is committed to the use of restorative justice practices as reflected in our Code of Conduct to create a positive, safe, and effective learning environment for students and adults. We must ensure all students share equitable access: to learning that is challenging and relevant to them; to people and services that support their wellbeing; and to the resources they need to achieve their extraordinary promise and to lead fulfilling lives.

Who is teaching non-violence? Who is teaching how to be a loving community? Who is teaching that kindness offers the great promise for the advancement of the human race?

In the name of the many George Floyds this nation has seen die with such brutality, we commit to teaching what it means to be a loving community where kindness leads the way to a successful future where all people are considered our brothers and sisters.


Commentary written by SAISD Board President Patti Radle

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