Dear Marcola Students and Families,
We are all very saddened by the string of racist events over the past few months and stand strongly opposed to these atrocious acts. The shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black jogger in Georgia; the false police statement made about Christian Cooper, a bird watcher in Central Park; and now the death of George Floyd, an unarmed handcuffed black man, are unthinkable and intolerable.
These crimes have a tremendous impact on all of us, but in particular our students of color, staff and families in Marcola, Lane County and beyond are hurting in the wake of this ongoing intolerance. Racism is still a problem in communities nationwide, Lane County and Marcola included. Racism is at times intentional and unintentional. It is everywhere, everyday. It is within us and surrounds us.
The polarization in our country today puts a tremendous amount of pressure on young people and the people who work in schools to somehow get it right, while the rest of society is desperate to find solutions. But as a school district that exists to protect children and cultivate the beauty and full worth of every single child, we must be held to the highest possible standard.
Although we do not condone the violence that has erupted out of peaceful protests, now is a time for action rather than words. We have to disrupt racism in all of its forms. Teaching about diversity is one thing, but teaching how to have a voice against discrimination and take action is another. We are committed to doing both and encourage families to join us in this commitment.
The Marcola School District is familiar with the harm that comes from ignorance and we know that the few do not represent the whole. Regardless, we need all families to know we are with them. All students’ voices and lives matter, regardless of the differences amongst us. We will continue to create space and opportunities to hear our students and families whose voices may have suffered marginalization.
The Marcola School District community will always recognize diversity as a core value that represents the true strength of our nation. We wholeheartedly believe that understanding and embracing each other’s differences is the first step in building a stronger community and hence a stronger nation. Our team stands together alongside our community to abolish all forms of racism.