This past summer, in the wake of national demonstrations and conversations about racism, I was confronted with my own personal anger, shame, and fear about the long history of racism in our country. I committed to addressing the greater issues within our school system and leading us to be part of the solution. Since then, our equity work has begun in earnest and continues to be an integral part of our planning and action.
Now, when acts of violence against Asian Americans are on the rise and in the news, I am compelled to recognize that our equity work must be broad and truly inclusive. This is not a “program,” this is an ongoing commitment to changing our culture, as a school district and as a community. So once again I reaffirm the commitments I made last spring.
Fairfield Public Schools is committed to continuing to examine our own policies, practices, beliefs, and actions so that we can become aware of the hurt we may cause students, staff, and the community, when we are unmindful of our own inherent biases. We continue commit to raising staff awareness of those biases because they stand in the way of the fulfillment of our district mission, “to ensure that every student acquires the knowledge and skills needed to be a lifelong learner, responsible citizen, and successful participant in an ever-changing global society through a comprehensive educational program.” If we are not aware of our own beliefs and actively work to eliminate our prejudices then we cannot truly educate every child.
We commit to being anti-racist in our expectations and actions.
We commit to being part of a community dialogue that confronts the issues that drive us apart so that we may heal as one.
We commit, above all, to listening, to fully investigating, and to addressing, allegations of racist behavior, actions, policies, or practices, in our school system.
We know that current events impact students and families in many different ways. If your child needs support, please contact your building principal or school counselor. Together, when we commit to living our values, we will make our schools, our community and our world stronger, safer, better.
MikeMichael Cummings Superintendent of Schools Fairfield Public Schools