WHEREAS members of the Norfolk City School Board, as well as the Norfolk Public Schools staff, are saddened and outraged by recent events that demonstrate the prejudice and injustice that persists in our country;
WHEREAS racism and hate have no place in our schools or our society, and we must protect the Constitutional rights of every person who lives, works and learns in our community;
WHEREAS we cannot be silent. We urgently must act to stop the racial injustice that harms and anguishes black people, who are our family, friends, neighbors, students, staff members, and fellow Americans;
WHEREAS we must listen. Those who have endured discrimination and intolerance deserve to be heard as they share the stories and truth about their experiences and feelings, and we must seek with great empathy to understand their challenges and their pain;
WHEREAS we must learn. It is time to engage our community in meaningful and honest conversation about racial inequality, to build alliances with those committed to justice for all, and to work together to support our shared conviction that racism must end;
WHEREAS we must lead. Each of us, individually and collectively, is responsible for creating and nurturing an anti-racist learning environment where every child is respected and valued for who they are, regardless of their skin color. We must actively acknowledge, address, and prevent racial bias that occurs as a result of division policies, practices and actions; and
WHEREAS we must do better. Our school division can be and will be a sanctuary of safety in our community and a beacon of light for the world, as we build and strengthen trust with those we serve, and we model the acceptance of all people.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, members of the Norfolk City School Board, stand steadfast in our commitment to foster an inclusive educational environment where every student, teacher, support professional, parent and community member is treated with dignity and respect, as well as our commitment to continue fighting for racial justice and human and civil rights for all.
It was approved by the Norfolk City School Board this 17 day of June 2020.