School Superintendent's position on anti-racism and violence
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California Department of Education's position statement
Students, Families, Staff, and Community:
It is a very difficult time in our country as communities across the nation have erupted into grief and anger following the tragic death of George Floyd. We, the State Special Schools, recognize that this was not an isolated incident, but rather an accumulation of a continuous cycle of oppression by individuals, groups, and institutions created in this country.
The State Special Schools, as part of the California Department of Education, provide educational services to deaf, blind and visually impaired students, in addition to offering local educational agency (LEA) special education programs with assessment services, technical assistance and staff development. We want to assure you that we are committed to creating an inclusive and antidiscrimination environment for all that we collaborate with, our staff, and the students that we serve.
We do recognize that there are still much-needed conversations to be had among our stakeholders on ending racism in our communities. We must continue to unpack our personal biases and understand our privileges in order to move forward, together. We do believe we will get a better sense of unity when we all listen, learn, work, and communicate together every day.
As always, we want to reassure our students, staff, families, and the community that discrimination, racism, hate speech and violence of any form are not tolerated. Our schools should be considered a safe place for all students where they can thrive individually with confidence, feel respected and valued.
In closing, the State Special Schools are committed to working together to end institutional racial injustice and inequities in our communities by provided tolerance-based practices in the way that we educate our students. But most importantly, we want to make sure that you know that we hear you during this difficult time and we grieve alongside you. You matter to us.
Clark Brook, Ed.S.
Superintendent, California School for the Deaf, Fremont
Robin Zane, Ed.D.
Director, State Special Schools and Services Division
Superintendent, California School for the Blind, Fremont
Nancy Hlibok Amann, Ph.D.
Superintendent, California School for the Deaf, Riverside
Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction