Dear Littleton Public Schools Parents, Staff, and Community Members:
The past days and weeks have, once again, shone a spotlight on the tremendous injustices in our society. The shocking and violent deaths of Mr. George Floyd and others serve as clear evidence that we as a nation are not doing enough to dismantle systemic racism and that our collective complacency must end. Littleton Public Schools stands in solidarity with all those within our community, our state, and across this country who are peacefully protesting and voicing their anguish and deep frustration with systems that oppress and devalue Black lives. It’s simply not enough to say “I am not racist.” We must act and demonstrate that we support anti-racism: our beliefs, actions, movements, and adopted policies must oppose racism in all its forms.
We also want to reinforce the values and core beliefs of Littleton Public Schools. We emphasize preparing students for a global society, and we respect and embrace the diversity of our community. We know that education makes a significant impact, and we stand ready to address fundamental inequalities and inequities in our society.
You may remember that in October of 2017, the LPS Board of Education adopted a Resolution, All Means All, in response to the social unrest prevalent across the nation at that time. This resolution formally announced our commitment to “support all students’ ability to succeed by cultivating learning environments that are physically and emotionally safe and supportive, to embrace and value our diversity, and to act quickly to prevent and address any and all issues of discrimination and harassment in our schools.”
These are not just words. These are standards and expectations that guide our thinking about everything we do. It is our duty to model respect and inclusiveness for all. Every day in our schools, we honor the expectation that differing views and opinions should be discussed, but always within the framework of respect and seeking to understand.
These can be difficult topics to talk about with your children. The following resources may be helpful to you:
How to Talk to Your Kids about Race and Racism - ParentToolkit.com
Talking About Race - National Geographic
Teaching Ideas and Resources to Help Students Understand the George Floyd Protests - New York Times
Engaging Young People in Conversations about Racism - Anti-Defamation League
Books to Teach Kids of All Ages About Racism - Chicago Parent Magazine
How White Parents Can Use Media to Raise Anti-Racist Kids - Common Sense Media
Kids Need to Talk About George Floyd, Protests, & Racism - USA Today
Teaching about Race, Racism & Police Violence - Teaching Tolerance
Thank you, students, parents, staff, and community members, for working together to provide a safe and caring environment for all students, and for committing to continuous improvement. This is important work and we simply cannot do it without you.
Brian Ewert, Superintendent
Dr. Tera Helmon, Asst. Superintendent of Learning Services