We do better together as a community

June 13, 2020 — I am writing with a heavy heart and deep concern regarding the national events triggered by racism and the senseless killing of George Floyd.

The past few weeks have been hard for our country and our community. Like many past events, the death of an unarmed person of color in police custody did not occur here — but it is felt here, and everywhere. 

These violent acts against people of color have an effect on all of us: students, staff, families and community members, as we mourn, experience confusion and fear, and try to make sense of what is happening in the world around us. 

In these times, more than ever, we must ensure our commitment against racism and violence in our schools and community.  

As educators, all district staff are committed to creating an environment where diversity is welcomed and appreciated, all perspectives are heard and listened to, and all students thrive. We can no longer just celebrate diversity; we must take actions aimed at removing inequities and biases in our system.

Anti-racism is something that, as a district, we actively work on and are committed to continuing to work on. We understand that there is so much more work to be done to teach anti-racism, tolerance and empathy.

An important part of moving forward with that work is listening to learn and then acting to teach. We invite your questions about how Mapleton School District addresses racism, as well as your thoughts and input on how Mapleton School District can continue to improve its teaching of tolerance and empathy

To engage in this discussion, contact me at [email protected], or Mizu Burruss, School Board Chair, at [email protected]

In this time when we are physically separated from our students, it can be especially difficult to provide opportunities to discuss emotional events in an environment where they can process their feelings and trauma with peers.

Even though we are physically apart, we can and will get through this together.  

In times of unrest, teachers and parents can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security, and talking with them openly about issues that are impacting them, their questions, their anger and their fears.]

Here are some helpful links:

  • National Association of School Psychologists – Talking to Children about Violence:  Tips for Parents and Teachers:  https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/school-violence-resources/talking-to-children-about-violence-tips-for-parents-and-teachers  
  • Anti-Defamation League Table Talk: https://www.adl.org/education/resources/tools-and-strategies/george-floyd-racism-and-law-enforcement
  • Anti-Defamation League Lessons for Middle Schoolers: https://www.adl.org/education-and-resources/resources-for-educators-parents-fami-lies/lessons?ed_cat_id%5b176%5d=176&ed_cat_id%5b216%5d=216&ed_cat_id%5b230%5d=230&grd_lvl%5bmiddle-school%5d=middle-school 
  • NPR – How White Parents Can Talk About Race:  https://www.npr.org/2020/05/31/866426170/raising-white-kids-author-on-how-white-parents-can-talk-about-race
  • Teaching Tolerance resources on Teaching About Race, Racism and Police Violence:  https://www.tolerance.org/moment/racism-and-police-violence

It is time for us to be better prompted by poet Maya Angelou’s words: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” 


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