With the death of George Floyd and other recent, racially charged incidents and resulting protests in some of our communities and across the country, some of our students and families are deeply hurting. This pain comes on top of stress from the pandemic, which has exacerbated inequities and disproportionately hurt historically underserved children.
In normal times, our classrooms would be a powerful place to help children navigate the scenes that have filled our televisions and, in some cases, streets. Though campuses are closed, we still have a moral obligation to create safe spaces to discuss race, inequities, and recent events with children -- and now, to help parents do the same.
To support that, the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) has curated resources to assist in facilitating conversations with students and families.
"I have been very open about my commitment to educational equity, and I want to be explicit that I am equally committed to fighting institutional racism," said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. "I want to be clear that, as an organization, SDCOE will and must use our resources to actively fight against racism in any form. We need to double down on our efforts to combat racism and implicit bias in schools, hiring practices, and policies. Each of us must call out things that aren't right."
The resources for discussing racism and protests are in addition to materials SDCOE created to support equity in distance learning:
"It's imperative that we go above and beyond to make sure all of our students, especially those who have been historically underserved, have the support and outlets they need to work through their emotions around these topics," Gothold said. "Schools are the cornerstones of communities and can play a powerful role in changing people's perceptions and processes. That starts with us."