Dear RCSD Families,
I would like to thank RCSD alumnus Mayor Malik Evans for joining me in today’s video to talk about a very important issue that weighs heavily on our hearts and minds – gun violence.
Just this week, we experienced another tragedy as the result of gun violence, this time at an elementary school in Texas, and almost two weeks ago, the unforgettable act of hatred in Buffalo. Tragic events like these where lives are lost continue to shake us to the core. The past several months have been extremely violent in our city. As a community, we need to change the culture, support our children, and teach them not to take matters into their own hands.
Next Friday, June 3, is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. In 2013, a 15-year-old girl was shot and killed in Chicago, just one week after performing at the 2nd inauguration of President Barack Obama. After her death, family and friends stood up to take a stand against gun violence, and they urged everyone to wear orange. Eight years later, that movement has grown stronger.
As we remember the lives of those impacted by gun violence, we urge everyone to get involved. You often hear Mayor Evans talk about the need to get guns off the streets and increase collaboration to reduce violence. We all have a role to play.
Next Friday, we ask that you wear orange to honor the lives lost to gun violence and to raise awareness about this public health crisis and racial justice issue. Wear orange, take a photo, and post it to social media, using the hashtag #wearorange. Tag us (@RCSDNYS) and the City of Rochester (@CityRochesterNY) and tell us why you are wearing orange. I will be wearing orange for our students whose lives have been cut short, and the friends and families who continue to mourn them. Mayor Evans will be wearing orange for all of the citizens of Rochester that we have lost to gun violence.
We all have a responsibility to keep our community safe, and that not only comes from City Hall and the school district. It comes from the whole community working together. We thank the Mayor for partnering with us in this very important initiative.
Dr. Lesli Myers-Small
Superintendent of Schools