03.22.21 EWSD Statement on Discrimination Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
March 22, 2021
Dear EWSD Community,
Today, the Essex Westford School District flags are at half-mast honoring the victims of the tragedy in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The EWSD continues to recognize the weight and importance of our current national circumstances and to work toward including and understanding historically underrepresented stories and perspectives in our curriculum and decision-making processes. As we do so it is important that we stand together in solidarity with the Asian members of our community during this time and into the future.
The EWSD strongly condemns any and all instances of discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in our nation over our long history. The last year has seen a steep increase in these events for AAPI individuals and communities. It is important to speak out against and address all forms of racism and hate. We take bias and racist incidents extremely seriously and encourage reporting of incidents to teachers and leaders about those concerns, should they arise. Perspectives and opinions that are harmful to anyone due to their identity or a protected class identification are also statements that are not acceptable within the EWSD.
The effects of racism are a top priority in the EWSD and we want our students and employees to feel physically and psychologically safe and cared for in our schools and buildings. It is critical that we continue to create an environment that is safe for everyone. As a school district, we promise to do everything we can to protect your children against any threat or harm that may arise while they are in our care.
As a district, we encourage everyone to participate in “See Something, Say Something.” This means observing our environment and developing awareness of our surroundings. The District highly respects the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties of our community by emphasizing behavior, rather than appearance, in identifying suspicious activity and also strongly encourages reporting.
Thank you for taking the time to consider your role in educating and supporting our students, families, and EWSD community in their experiences and responsibilities to redress harms and build belonging and dignity for all people.
The EWSD Leadership Team