A Moment in History

A Message from Superintendent Greg Baker

Dear students, staff, families and community members,

As many of you know, the verdict was announced in the trial of Derek Chauvin over the killing of George Floyd yesterday. I want to acknowledge this important moment in the ongoing civil rights movement for equality. I expect the news will elicit continued and meaningful conversations with students and our broader community.

I listened to Keith Ellison yesterday, the Minnesota Attorney General, as he addressed accountability as a step in the greater journey towards justice.  He reflected on the “bouquet of humanity” who witnessed the tragedy in person, from young people to adults.  They were forced to become active upstanders – people who speak or act in support of an individual or cause, particularly someone who intervenes on behalf of a person being attacked or bullied.

Superintendent Chris Reykdal (OSPI) wrote about our statewide commitment to “dismantling systemic barriers that result in disparate outcomes for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students.” Reykdal continues, “We all have the responsibility to do this work. To show up and speak up in our jobs, in our personal lives, for our children and for our neighbors. To show up with compassion and with an understanding of and a readiness to take action against pervasive systemic racism and anti-Blackness.”

OSPI offered a variety of resources to support educators and families in their conversations about the death of George Floyd and systemic violence. Our EDI team offered a post on Taking Care of Yourself During Challenging Times in October 2020. You can find additional resources and links on our website.

As stories about racialized violence and violence against the LGBTQIA+ community continue to flood our news streams, it is our job as the trusted adults of our students to see, listen, and stand beside them as they learn, grow and lead for change.

Bellingham Public Schools remains committed to The Promise that all children should be loved, today and every day.

Greg Baker