Statement Against Racism

Statement Against Racism
Posted on 06/10/2020
Dear Brentwood Community,

With the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmoud Arbery and other racially charged incidents in recent weeks, we know that many of you are hurting. This pain is compounded by stress from the pandemic, which has disproportionately hurt historically underserved children. In more normal times, our classrooms would be a powerful place to help our students navigate the scenes that have filled our televisions and streets. Though our campuses are currently closed, we have a moral obligation and desire to create safe spaces to discuss race, inequities, and recent events with our students and children and to help parents do the same.

It is not enough to join others throughout the region and country in denouncing racism. Brentwood School District is committed to ensuring all students in our care, as well as their families, and our staff members are treated with respect, love, and care whatever their race, gender identity, orientation, religion, or socioeconomic status. As our mission states, we see each child and support them on their individual pathway. Racism has no place in our community, and we will not tolerate actions or words that make any members of the Brentwood family feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Our Equity Strategic Planning Committee will be tasked with developing further training and resources that help address the serious challenges our underserved student populations face.

While our work to provide equitable practices and experiences for all students and staff to mitigate social inequalities is ongoing, please know it will continue to be a focus of our work as educators. To our students, especially those of color and others historically underserved, please know that even though school is out, we are here to support you. You are very important and play a very big part in our school family. Your teachers, principal, counselor, food service workers, custodians, superintendent, all the members of our staff, and the Brentwood School District community love and care for you as the individuals you are. You are an integral part of our community, and we will continue to do all we can to support you and provide a safe, comfortable learning environment.

Like all of you, we are experiencing the range of emotions that accompany current events: outrage, sadness, fear, and other feelings that leave us uncertain on how to proceed. We have developed a few resources on our website that may be helpful in starting ongoing conversations with your children about what is happening. Additionally, we will continue to work with our students and staff to reiterate Brentwood’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

It’s imperative that we go above and beyond to make sure all of our students, especially those who have been historically underserved, have the support and outlets they need to work through their emotions around these topics in a healthy, safe, and productive way. This is not the kind of work that happens once and is over. This will be a continued focus for us, and we want to include our families in the process. We will continue to communicate with you regarding our efforts and the resources we have available.

In solidarity,

Brentwood School District Administration

Brian Lane, Superintendent
Alex Tripamer, Director of Instruction & Student Support
Vicki Rees, Instructional Improvement Coordinator
Steven Rettke, HR/Operations Manager
Sam Rayburn, Director of Communications
Tamara Yates, SSD Lead Area Coordinator
Ed Johnson, Principal, Brentwood High School
Steve Ayotte, Asst. Principal, Brentwood High School
Andrew Loiterstein, Principal, Brentwood Middle School
Cindy Neu, Principal, McGrath Elementary
Carol Eastabrook, Principal, Mark Twain Elementary
Nancy Stoverink, Director, Early Childhood Education

Brentwood School District Board of Education

Lindsay Spencer, President
Jamie Allen, Vice President
Mark Womer, Treasurer
Dan Broulliet, Director
Melissa Nehrt, Director
Keith Rabenberg, Director
Kerry Trostel, Director
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