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June 2, 2020

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A Message to Our Community from the District

Our hearts are broken for the family and loved ones of George Floyd. Loss of life in itself is unbelievably sad and tragic, but Mr. Floyd’s death was preventable. His life was taken by individuals whose responsibility it was to serve and protect. These acts of violence continue to create a massive divide in our society, which we can no longer tolerate as our status quo.

Jeffco Public Schools places diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront of how we work to meet our mission for our students, staff, state, and country. We must do all we can to ensure those values are furthered not just in our schools, but in our society. Racism, inequality, and violence directed at specific groups in our communities and nation is unacceptable, and we cannot remain silent.

We condemn racism and violence in the strongest terms. They are directly opposed to the values of Jeffco Public Schools and a democratic society.

Jeffco Public Schools is committed to continuing our mission of educating every student in an inclusive and welcoming environment free from racism and violence. We are also committed to continuing to have critical conversations about race and equity and being agents of change. As educators, we work to break down barriers and create opportunities for our students - and this is especially true for our students who have been underserved. For our staff members of color, we are committed to disrupting these current realities you experience every day. Our hearts break with you, we hear you, and we are grateful for the gifts and professional commitment that you provide.

For our students, you represent the optimism in this country that will ensure the fair treatment of all people. You represent a spirit of understanding, mutual respect, and hope. Hope that our history does not define our destiny. Hope that you will be the generation committed to breaking down systems of racial injustice and oppression. Racism, bigotry, and violence does not have to be the “normal” that you accept. The nation is challenging us now more than ever to amplify our voices to define a new “normal” for this country.

As part of our mission, we honor and encourage practicing human skills such as civic and global engagement, personal responsibility, and leading by influence. May our entire community find these principles to be a useful guide as we all navigate and respond to these tragic events and channel our energy, intellect, and commitment to be forces for good.

During the school year, our classrooms would have been a powerful place to help students navigate the scenes that have filled our televisions and, in some cases, our streets. Though our schools are closed for summer, we still have a moral obligation to create safe spaces for students to discuss race, inequities, and recent events and encourage parents to do the same. To help students and families navigate this time, we have posted updated equity resources to facilitate conversations on these important issues.

The greatest lesson we’ve learned through COVID-19 is that the depth of our strength and resilience is far greater than we knew - and we are stronger when we work together on our toughest issues.

Ultimately, we are a better community because of our diversity and differences. Let us make sure Jeffco is a place where every person is safe, included, and celebrated.

Jeffco Public Schools 

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