JJMS Racist Incident May 5 2022
May 5, 2022
Dear KLSD Community,
Today, our middle school team was made aware of unconscionable, racist graffiti in a school bathroom. Hateful acts such as these are inexcusable and intolerable in the KLSD community. (I am linking below Principal Swiatowicz’s letter to his school community for your information.)
It is important that every student and every family know how strongly we condemn this appearance of the n-word. As we work to create ever more welcoming and inclusive environments for all our students and families, this incident reveals ignorance and racism. It tells us, in no uncertain terms, just how much more work we need to do, even while we are attempting to do so much good work in our schools.
As Principal Swiatowicz points out, the work of creating compassionate, just, and inclusive schools is our work to do. Yet, we know we will never succeed if we are working in isolation. Our families and our community must be on the journey with us if we are to see progress. Yesterday, our Equity and Racial Justice Committee (ERJC) met, as we do each month. During our meeting, a community member asked, how will we track our progress? Today’s event is certainly one indicator of progress yet to be made.
We will continue all our efforts towards more inclusive curriculum, resources, and experiences for students. We will continue working to understand and address bias. When necessary, appropriate consequences will let students know the seriousness of our intent. Fundamentally, our students need to know, every day, that they are cared for and cared about at school.
We have had moments of great joy in our schools of late – moments of which we can be proud. Last week’s Jay Fest at JJHS, unified basketball games, next week’s production of Schoolhouse Rock at IMES, and the list goes on, and will go on. Today’s hateful event reminds us that harm exists side-by-side with joy in our world. We work always to tip the scales towards more love and compassion, and the world continually reminds us that there is yet more work to do.
Andrew Selesnick, Superintendent of Schools