Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: ACSD superintendent urges action against racism

As we encounter yet another incident of violence against people of color in our country, it’s critical that we, as a community, renew our stance against racism, discrimination, and hatred. The deep-rooted racism and harm that communities of color are experiencing is a call to action to move beyond accepting things as they are and have been, and to work harder to dismantle the institutional, societal, and structural barriers that continue to perpetuate racism, bias, and discrimination.
In a largely white community that can at times feel isolated from the rest of the world, we need to reaffirm that working harder to fight racism can’t fall by default to our community members of color or be impacted by the thinking that racism is an issue only in larger, more diverse cities. This work is critical here and must be carried by all of us. It needs to be rooted in our continued work to understand privilege and implicit bias. And it needs to be led by each one of us.
I know our staff are engaged in helping our students, now remotely, in understanding the world around them. If any students are needing additional support, please reach out to your principal for resources. The American Psychological Association has excellent resources on talking with children about racism, which can be found here.
Giving our students voice to help us better understand how to continue to address racism, bias, and discrimination is essential. This spring, the ACSD Student Equity Team was formed, with the aim of empowering students to lead equity work at the district and school levels. As we work through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our community, we know that we must make students a forever-central part of our work to address inequities.
I stand by all of you in stating that we must strive to do more and do better for every member of our community.
Superintendent Peter Burrows
Addison Central School District
Middlebury

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