Dear Deer Park Families and Community:
I, as I’m sure many of you, have been following the protests that have taken place since the death of George Floyd on May 25. While the awful and appalling death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Officer, Derek Chauvin, has sparked this latest wave of civil and social unrest, it is not the cause.
It is my belief that the cause is a continued lack of understanding and perspective by many Americans, including myself, of what minority Americans, especially African Americans, have endured over the last nearly 250 years in our country. As a white American, I can’t begin to understand the injustices, inequities, and sometimes brutality that minority Americans still face every single day in our country in the year 2020. I surely can’t pretend to understand all of the wrongs that were inflicted on the ancestors of minorities in America over the last 25 decades. However, as a white American, I can open up my eyes and ears so that I can see and hear what these protests actually mean.
To me, the protests signify a call for help. It tells me that there is an issue and people need to be heard, seen, listened to, and understood. Most importantly, there needs to be intentional action by leaders in our communities all across our country to begin to initiate the long overdue change that is needed.
I believe that change will take time. It is extremely difficult to enact change of this magnitude, and it is even harder to enact change that involves changing the belief systems of people that have developed over many generations. However, I also believe that it can be done and it can start with us through conversation, empathy, an open mind, and most importantly, through kindness.
As superintendent of Deer Park Community City Schools, I will be working with our district leadership team to initiate conversations within our community about how we, as a school system, can do better. I know we can do better and I know our country can do better. I hope you will join us in these conversations and I look forward to working with all of you to be the initiators of change.
Deer Park Community City School District