June 2, 2020
Dear RNESU Community
It is with a heavy heart that we have followed the news of late. With the killing of George Floyd as well as other African Americans and the resulting unrest throughout the country, we realize many students may be feeling quite anxious or confused. We have been teaching our students to Say Something when they See (or hear) Something that is not ok. Student voice is important, and peaceful protests are a way of getting voice heard when things happen that are not okay.
As a school district, we strive to build a culture where all students feel safe: safe to learn, safe to walk the halls and ride the buses, safe to be who they are. Incidents of racism, harassment and bullying do exist in our schools just as they do in our communities and we continually try to balance response and consequences with the opportunity for learning to accept differences and respect others. The opportunity for learning is hard to find in the national news right now. It is up to us adults to speak out and Say Something, to model what is right for our students. The killing of George Floyd and other young African Americans in our country is wrong. Protests that turn violent are also wrong as they shut down voice. Acceptance and respect are the values our school culture demands.
At RNESU, we are committed to continue to address the inequities and incidents that occur in our schools. We will continue to commit to classroom cultures that build on our differences and help our students to appreciate differences and feel safe and accepted.
We realize that some of our students need to talk about the national events. It can be hard to talk with your child about topics such as this. I am adding some resources to this letter that you may find helpful. If you are concerned about your child’s response to the news, please reach out to your guidance counselor for more supports.
Thank you for your support in creating an inclusive and respectful culture in RNESU.
Jeanné Collins, Superintendent