Dear APS Students, Families and Staff,
The verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, who was charged for the murder of George Floyd, was announced this afternoon, and he was found guilty. We understand how difficult the last few months have been for many of our students and staff, and while this verdict provides some closure, there are still many feelings that need to be processed and changes that need to be made to combat systemic racism in our justice system. We acknowledge the impact this verdict will have on social justice but know there is work that still needs to be done to achieve a society where we are all treated fairly and equitably.
The racism and violence that have been highlighted in these recent tragic events may be widely discussed this week at school. Teachers will give students the opportunity to process their feelings and how this feels to them personally, as appropriate, and as they are comfortable.
Below are some available resources to support you in navigating through conversations about race:
- Teaching Tolerance – Featured Race & Ethnicity Resources
- Table Talk: Family Conversations about Current Events – Discussion Guide for Families
- Teaching about Racism, Violence, Inequity and the Criminal Justice System
- Helping Students Make Sense of News Stories about Bias and Injustice
- When Injustice Goes Unchecked and Concealed, What Messages Does This Send to Children?
- George Floyd, Racism and Law Enforcement
Counselors are on standby to help students deal with their feelings and the Arlington EAP is also available to help staff as well. Below are some additional resources.
- NASP School Safety and Crisis Resource (See: Responding to Civil Unrest in Schools: Prevention to Response)
- NASP Social Justice Resources (Understanding Race and Privilege: Suggestions for Facilitating Challenging Conversations)
I want to take this opportunity to affirm our commitment to anti-racism and social justice, and to our continued work in schools and in our community.
Dr. Francisco Durán
Arlington Public Schools