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Dear Issaquah School District Community,
We are heartbroken and sickened by the violence we are seeing towards our black community. Racism and injustice are not values of the Issaquah School District and we cannot ignore these events, and risk marginalizing this behavior by our silence. We must be part of the solution. Our students, our families, and our staff of color must know that they belong, they matter, and that they are heard.
We have seen peaceful protests, unity, and communities come together around a united message that racism and injustice cannot prevail. It has been upsetting to see these moments disturbed by individuals seeking to destroy, be violent, and loot. However, we cannot let the actions of a few – protestors and police alike – tarnish the important message of justice and equality for all.
While our district is not perfect, we are committed to raising awareness and educating ourselves on how racism, injustice, and institutional inequities show up in our educational systems. This work is not easy – it takes courage, vulnerability, willingness to seek other perspectives, and openness. As a district, we know we can make a difference. We can listen so others are heard. We can stand so others are supported. We can model so others can see. We can act so others know our commitment.
Now, more than ever we need our entire community to lean into the work of eliminating racism and injustice. As a district, we know it will take community partnerships and conversations around the dinner table with our children, where we talk openly about racism, bias, and injustice. Topics that are traditionally uncomfortable for many to have, but are a must. Our families of color cannot shoulder these topics alone. Together we can make a difference.
To assist in the conversation, all school counselors stand ready to listen, support, and advocate for our children and staff. Please contact your student’s school counselor to arrange for assistance. Please see other resources below.
Talking with kids about race:
In addition, the National Association of School Psychologists has helpful resources for talking with students about violence, race, and privilege. I also want to thank many of our educators and school leaders who are hosting and creating space for students and their colleagues to process their feelings and examine steps we must take to fight against systemic racism and injustice.
School Board President