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HJUHSD Message Regarding National Protests and Demonstrations
HJUHSD Students, Staff, and Community,
Last week as our seniors, their classmates, their parents, and the community celebrated graduations so beautifully, our community and nation were facing a crisis that remains at the forefront of many conversations, protests, and civil unrest. As a student body, community, and school district we have faced so much this spring. We took on the COVID-19 Pandemic and worked toward solutions and we now work toward continuing our efforts to ensure ALL of our students and families receive the equity we strive for as educators. This past weekend’s peaceful protest in downtown Hanford included many past, current, and future HJUHSD students along with a large number of staff members in a show of solidarity. Although school is out for the summer, our work as educators continues. Now, more than ever, we see that the work we began this past year toward a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and mission to ensure all students have access to what they need to be successful, is timely and absolutely necessary. As a district, we have made strides to engage our students and our community to best know how we can serve it. We pledge to continue and expand that work now and for years to come. For students who may feel the need to talk to someone during this time, please feel free to call the school, reach out to a teacher, or use the resource numbers on the back of your student ID card. We are here for you now and always.
The State Superintendent, Tony Thurmond, has also issued a call to action and has provided a forum for input from communities across California. In his remarks, the State Superintendent noted that public education can play an important role in better exploring the connection between issues of educational equity and implicit bias in the classroom and the systemic racism that persists throughout society. Black and brown students are more likely to be suspended and expelled and fall behind academically, for example, and schools that serve communities of color are often the most under-resourced.
The State Superintendent announced that he and the California Department of Education (CDE) will be launching a series of discussions that will include superintendents and educational leaders from across California, students, teachers, school support staff, parents, and caregivers. Thurmond also intends to convene stakeholders in discussions of implicit bias beyond schools to include leaders of statewide and national law enforcement organizations, elected officials, civic community leaders, and more. Details of these gatherings and how to participate will be forthcoming.
For more details as to the state’s response and how to contact them for their forum, click here.
Dr. Victor Rosa