Letter from the Sweetwater Equity, Culture and Support Services Team

Colleagues and friends:
As the world watched the violence and hatred carried out by white supremacists in Charlottesville, there was absolute shock at the level of brutality exhibited by these extreme hate groups. And as educators, we have a moral and ethical responsibility to condemn racial and ethnic prejudice and to talk candidly with our students about these issues. It is equally important that we embrace diversity within our district and confront prejudice throughout our communities; if we do nothing, we can be seen as complicit.

Although these events are dispiriting, we want to reaffirm our commitment to strengthening unity within our schools and serving as beacons of hope for our students. Our district will not and does not tolerate racism, violence, or bullying by any individual or group. Moreover, we will continue to actively build inclusive, caring, and positive environments so each district student and staff is provided with a respectful and safe learning and work experience.

Please recall that last year, our Board of Trustees approved a new resolution to ensure that our students are treated with dignity and respect and have the opportunity to learn in a physically, emotionally and intellectually safe environment. And although we have many areas to improve as a district, our focus will remain on methods in which we can serve our students and staff in better and more effective ways. For instance, we will continue training our staff around issues involving diversity, inclusion, equity, bias, race, ability, and sexual and gender orientation. In addition, our district will continue collaborating with community members, subject matter experts, parents, and students to develop strategies for improving district practices.

The Sweetwater Union High School District family must not accept acts of racism, bigotry, or violence and it is imperative that we provide each student, and staff member, with a safe, positive, healthy, caring, and respectful learning and working environment.

We are asking you to stand with us in denouncing racism and other forms of bias. Together, our unified school community will make a positive and impactful difference in the lives of district students and families.

Respectfully,

Equity, Culture, Support Services Team