On the morning of June 1st, Superintendent Obeng shared the following statement regarding the protests, racial injustice, and pain our country is experiencing right now.
Text of Message Regarding Protests and Racial Injustice
June 1, 2020
I try to use my communications to deliver facts and information. But today I see what is happening in our country — the injustices and the horrific images played out in HD — and my heart becomes heavy as I wonder how all of this is impacting our students. So I feel compelled to ‘speak out’ as this is a teachable moment.
Our students should know that it is okay to feel outraged. It is okay to feel anger and a sense of helplessness because the adults around you have failed to do the right things to enable you to inherit a society where all people feel safe and respected.
Considering these emotions:
It is not okay to riot.
It is not okay to loot.
But it is okay to stand up, protest, speak out, and develop a plan for change.
Black people and people of color are feeling great pain in this moment because it is a reminder of the lack of progress and inequities that still exist. The disturbing images we have seen in the last few years are not new to us, but because of technology, we bear witness. No longer can we behave thinking that ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ is acceptable.
Rather than let this situation tear us apart this is the moment to truly come together. Black, brown, white, etc. This is the moment for everyone to be an ally — this is the moment for us all to be thoughtful critical thinkers and problem solvers as we state in the BSD graduation expectations.
Burlington School District’s vision is to cultivate caring, creative, and courageous people. I challenge us all to demonstrate caring and courage during this time.
I call on our non-colored students and families to stand beside people of color
I call on Parents to have these crucial conversations with your children
I call on our staff to create safe environments so our students can share and be supported in this moment, and always
I call on BSD students, with your intellect and empathy, to demonstrate courage in bringing together the strength of our diversity to problem solve towards the future you want
And Finally, students, I call on you to bring others to “Join the Journey”