I, like many of you, am deeply saddened and hurt by the tragic events of the past few weeks. Times of turmoil and heartbreak force all of us to look for truths that we can hold onto, truths that will guide us as we search for a way to move forward from here.
From both a personal and a system viewpoint, we simply must agree with this truth: racism, hatred, violence, and prejudice are evils that cannot be tolerated.
The Charleston County School District embraces strong core values of equity, justice, human dignity, and the crucial role public education plays in enabling the next generation of adults to enjoy the freedoms of our democracy. Recent actions of the Board— the equity and inclusion analysis, mission-critical decisions, cultural competence initiative, and restorative justice practices—demonstrate the district’s determination to address long-standing inequities.
These latest tragic events cause all people of goodwill to question whether what we are doing is enough. For educators, these tragedies come on the heels of the most uncertain period we have ever faced regarding how to safely teach children in the midst of a pandemic. We know we will have to create different conditions for learning and supporting our students when school restarts. We are also well aware of the achievement gap that leaves too many children of color academically vulnerable. They will return in the fall with nearly a half-year without regular schooling. Let us respond in ways that demonstrate our determination to support all children to high levels of accomplishment.
CCSD is made up of incredibly good and capable people. We are a strong school system. We can help build a stronger community and a more secure future for all of our students. Let us seize this opportunity by putting the emotion that we feel today into constructive action to back up our words. Together, we can accomplish great things for the children of Charleston County in order to create a future vastly different from the one playing out on the national stage.