Protest planned for Friday in the city
On Thursday night, Arcadia Unified School District Superintendent Dr. David Vannasdall released a statement following days of protest across the country in response to the death of George Floyd, police brutality, and systemic racism in various institutions. The superintendent’s statement reads in part:
“Like many people across our country and world, our Arcadia Unified community is dealing with sadness, anger, frustration, and grief because of another senseless death of an African American. The Arcadia Unified School District recognizes the horrific death of George Floyd. His death has focused a light on institutional racism and educational inequities that exist in our country, our communities, and our schools. The events that have unfolded over the past several days across our country have had a profound impact on our community and our children. As an educational body, we commit to listening, learning, reflecting, and acting to stand against racism. We can be better, and we will do better, as we move forward to creating a socially-just society for our students.
“As a community of educators, we believe in living out our purpose of challenging and inspiring all students to make a positive and profound impact on their world. This can only be achieved when each student, regardless of the color of their skin, has access to a world-class education free from discrimination and racism. The very nature of our diversity is what makes us better together.
“In AUSD, we believe we hold a responsibility to our students and parents to lead through example. Our five core values as a district, as seen on the walls of the Arcadia Education Center and throughout our schools, are Collaborate, Think Critically, Be Creative, Offer Empathy, and Learn from Failure. We know the time is now to focus on and live out our values more than ever. It is incumbent upon us to collaborate with our students, staff, and parents of color; to think critically of ourselves, and as an institution, about our shortcomings and how we can improve; to be creative in our examination of this process and in providing solutions; to offer empathy to all of our students, staff, and parents of color who have encountered institutional racism and educational inequities. We must also indeed learn from our past failures to ensure they are not repeated.
“We have deep empathy for the pain and anger being felt for the many questions with no answers and the voices that have not been heard for too many years. As we move forward, we believe AUSD has a responsibility and an opportunity to elevate these difficult conversations in the commitment to a better tomorrow.”
Vannasdall also provided various links to resources to “help you have some of these difficult conversations.”
The links included:
- Table Talk: Family conversations about current events.
- Talking to young children about bias and prejudice.
- Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice.
- Engaging young people in talk about race and racism.
- How to talk to kids about black lives and police violence.
- National Association of School Psychologists.
- National PTA: Discussing Difficult Situations with your Children.
- Arcadia Unified’s webpage for COVID-19 mental health & wellness support and resources.
- Arcadia Unified Mental Health Mondays Outreach.
There is a protest planned for Friday at 3 p.m. at Arcadia County Park.