"While I know we must move forward, it would be senseless not to acknowledge that you have all experienced the injustices of systemic inequity. These experiences have pushed our community, city, country, and world beyond its breaking point. What we are seeing is a manifestation of the pain we have been forced to live with for generation after generation.
Considering this, the King Academy Team will not pretend as if this is not happening. Instead, we will support you through this by serving as your hope creators, peace providers, and love sharers."
Principal Jasmine Thurmond, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academy of Social Justice
We heard calls for activism ...
"It's during these difficult and challenging times that we need each other the most. It is time for all of us to reflect and spring up to action. As educators, I know the passion and the desire for a better tomorrow is within all of us.
We are service oriented, and we have the power to make the changes we want to see happen."
Principal Wilma David, Sandoval Elementary School
... and understanding ...
"Our community has been hit hard, first by the COVID-19 pandemic and now by violent acts occurring across our country, including Chicago. Peaceful protests for the unacceptable deaths of innocent people, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, have turned violent and have destroyed businesses across the city, including in Brighton Park.
Racism cannot be tolerated. To achieve our mission of having our students make a difference in Brighton Park and Beyond we must listen to each other and seek to understand. We must discuss difficult topics to support students in understanding the present times and the history of our country. Students must be encouraged to act and use their voices."
Principal Debra Fritz-Fanning, Shields Middle School
... and change.
We are overcome with sadness as we watch our nation and our city grapple with tragedy and crisis. As we struggle, we recognize the need for justice and for healing. Though we are sad and afraid, we must return to our moral purpose.
We must have courage and hope. We must continue to be a source of light for those we teach. We must challenge our students to work for justice and healing in our communities, our city, and our country.
They are our future, and we teach so that they might create a world where their children will never experience the heartbreak we have witnessed in the last week.
Principal Luis Tellez, Hernandez Middle School
It is the work of education to build a consciousness for change, and it is the work of education to foster voice and to have that hard conversation, even when it makes us uncomfortable and when we are not sure how to do it and, for those of us who are, even when we are white. We are duty-bound to face the harm of racism, and we must commit to change.
Administrative Team, Prosser Career Academy