Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Eric Williams on Monday issued a special statement to advocate peaceful anti-racism.
Dear Members of the LCPS Community:
The recent violent, high-profile deaths of African-Americans are deeply disturbing. The painful impact of these harrowing deaths is and will continue to be significant, all the more so because of our keen awareness of the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color.
LCPS remains committed to providing a safe, empathetic, respectful and supportive learning environment, and we reject racism and racist violence, recognizing that they further encourage discrimination, hatred, oppression, and more violence. Our commitment to doing so is grounded in our action-oriented equity perspective. As a community, our condemnation of racist behavior and language is necessary, and we must do more. As individuals, I hope you will join me in peaceful anti-racism, taking actions that oppose racism as well as systemic and structural inequities.
Anti-racist words and actions support our mission of empowering all students to make meaningful contributions to the world. I ask that parents consider speaking with their children about the history and persistence of racism and racialized violence in America and locally. I ask LCPS staff to join me in engaging in courageous, even difficult, conversations with colleagues who show up to work each day trying to give their best to our students and families, while also perhaps struggling with direct or indirect racism. A list of resources is provided at the end of this letter that you may wish to reference in speaking with others regarding race, racism, and racialized violence.
LCPS has demonstrated a community care approach during the COVID-19 pandemic. Community care includes caring for each and every community member, including individuals who are medically fragile, those who face food insecurity, AND those who are subjected to racist behavior and language. Community care is an extension of our “whole child” philosophy, which rests on the belief that we can support the realization of children’s potential when they are nourished, nurtured and supported in the face of the challenges around them. In the spirit of community care, we, including those of us who come from a place of privilege, can take inspiration from Maya Angelou’s poem of resilience entitledStill I Riseto work together to change what is wrong and hurtful in the world around us.
With great care,
Eric Williams, Ed.D.