Dear APS Community:
The tragic death of George Floyd and many others before him, as well as the events that have unfolded since, are bringing into stark focus the pervasive injustice and inequality that African Americans face every day in our society from systemic and institutionalized racism.
As Superintendent and the School Board, we acknowledge the anger and hurt that our APS community and the nation are experiencing, especially our African American community. APS strives to celebrate the differences of all our students and strongly condemns violence and racism. To our African American students and staff, and all persons of color in our community, we want you to know that we support you, we believe in you, and we stand in solidarity with you.
At APS, we believe education is a path toward breaking the cycle of systemic, institutionalized racism, and we commit to being part of the solution. We will not sit in silence. We will engage in the challenging discussions regarding the issues of race and equity. We will continue to work together with our community to confront racial injustice by encouraging inclusivity, respect and compassion for one another, and first and foremost, by truly listening to each other. We will, as public servants and elected officials, work to eradicate any forms of racism and injustice in our public education institution and our community.
Moving forward, we pledge to continue the work started prior to the school closures to better educate and train our leaders and staff to tackle systemic bias and inequities, such as opportunity gaps and disproportionality in discipline. We ask APS staff to seek out every opportunity to align teaching and learning with the mission of ending racism and to consider how we are equipping students to play a role in that effort.
We will continue this dialogue with our community and provide updates as events unfold, now and into the future. In the meantime, below are some available resources to support you in navigating through conversations about race:
- Teaching Tolerance – Featured Race & Ethnicity Resources
- Table Talk: Family Conversations about Current Events – Discussion Guide for Families
Please take care, be safe, and join us in the hard work of truly creating a community that equitably serves and supports all.
Dr. Francisco Durán
Arlington Public Schools
Arlington School Board