Dear HUSD Community,
It pains me to be at this moment again. The recent killing of Daunte Wright just miles from where George Floyd’s life was taken is another reminder—among a disturbing number of others—that police violence continues to be a manifestation of the structural racism that disproportionately impacts people of color. But this isn’t something that only happens somewhere else. Marginalized families live this reality in our community every day. The trauma of witnessing continuous violence has taken an incredible toll on students, staff, and parents.
At last week’s school board meeting, we heard the heart-wrenching ways that many in our community are experiencing this moment. As superintendent, I wanted to share this message with you as an opportunity to acknowledge the pain, anger, and sense of hopelessness that some of you are feeling. Our hearts are heavy, but our resolve to put in the work to counter racism and bias is strong.
I celebrate the educators working through difficult conversations to ensure that HUSD remains truly committed to establishing and sustaining a community that shares collective responsibility to dismantle actions, decisions, and outcomes that perpetuate racism. We’re not there yet, but what continues to drive us is the desire to live in a world where there are no more innocent lives lost to police violence. HUSD is striving instead to uplift and celebrate our students of color. They are our future public servants, educators, scientists, and engineers.
As the country braces itself for a verdict in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, accused of killing George Floyd as other officers watched, I want to encourage our community to access the resources available to you. These resources include mental health supports and educational materials that help navigate complex issues of race, bias, and police violence.
I hope you’ll pause and pay close attention to how current events could be impacting our students. Let’s engage these tough conversations and provide our young people the safe spaces they need to process what’s happening around them. More importantly, let’s teach our children to be active participants in our city. As Trustee Prada said, “We shouldn’t have to teach our children how to survive a traffic stop. We won’t end police violence unless we all stand together against it.” Please take care of yourselves and each other.