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A Regional Statement On Equity
Posted on 06/11/2020
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A statement on equity, written on behalf of Superintendents leading school districts across our region.

In horror we have watched and read of the recent, senseless deaths of Black Americans. As a regional superintendent group representing twenty-three different school districts, we wholly reject all forms of racism in our nation, community and schools.

Superintendents in the ESD 123 region are dedicated to ensuring equity in our schools. This goes beyond ensuring Black students and other students of color have access to opportunities. Our schools help all students understand current events and their context in our nation’s story. They teach about racism and oppression in the past and in the present. They instill in students the understanding of the importance of a diverse, democratic, and just society, and demand that students grow as active citizens in their communities.

Many of us cannot even begin to comprehend the feelings, fear, and emotions people of color are experiencing at this time. Many of us cannot truly understand what it is like to live, work, and lead as a person of color. We need to listen and reflect, to better grasp the reality of race and privilege in this country. We need to pursue a deeper understanding of the experiences and feelings of people of color and stand with them.

The call to action begins by first acknowledging, without qualification, the presence of systemic racism that continues to result in injustice and acts of violence in our country. The call to action continues by working more diligently to carefully examine and evaluate the systems in our schools and school districts. The call involves taking deliberate action to redesign those systems and remove barriers, both visible and invisible, for students of color and their families.

Like the students we serve, it is important to acknowledge that each of us may be in a different place in our learning and in our experiences. The important thing is that we will all be learning and growing during these extraordinary times, and that we need to move forward on this journey together. We must never be content with the status quo; rather, we must challenge the status quo for the good of all.

We remain resolute in our belief that public schools, while not perfect, remain the preeminent vehicle for driving the kind of change necessary to transform the lives of all children and young people for the better. Public schools are the foundation of our democracy, the backbone of our communities, and our greatest source of hope for a better future. Leading this effort in our schools is an honor and a moral imperative like none other. It is what we are called to do.

On behalf of the school district Superintendents in ESD 123

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