Statement on Racism

We, as a community, are grieving the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others before them. Racism and violence have no place in our school, community, and society. As leaders of a public education institution, we feel a deep responsibility as one of the many “systems” in our country that has perpetuated systemic racism. This must be corrected.

As an educational institution, we are particularly concerned with the trauma that these events bring to African American children and the parents who love them so very much. There are no words to describe our horror at the fears we know you must feel as parents every single day. We see you. Your pain matters. We are here for you and we stand with you.

We have much work to do as educators. We acknowledge that it is much more than being “good” people who love children. We must be committed to anti-racist education curriculum, instructional practices, and policies. We are committed to ensuring that the stories of all people in our country are shared. We began our anti-racist work at CSD as an entire staff, student, and parent community, three years ago, but we acknowledge there is much more work to be done.

What you can expect from us as our next steps in the coming year:

● We will continue our work with development of anti-racist curriculum that ensures the history of all people are taught.
● We will ensure that the literature and stories shared in our classrooms from grades K to 12 are inclusive and provide mirrors for all students and their families.
● We will continue with culturally responsive professional development so we are informed educators as we impact children daily.
● We will continue to offer parent education sessions.
● We will re-examine all CSD policies to ensure equity for all. We must be certain that all students thrive in our community.
● We will advocate at the NC State Board of Education level to advocate for dismantling state policies that perpetuate systemic racism.
● We will provide resources for parents to support your conversations with your children.
● We will continue efforts to broaden our school community to include more people of color in our staff, student, and parent community.
● We will listen to you as you share your perspectives and experiences. Your stories matter to us.
● We will continue to seek opportunities to collaborate with our broader educational community in North Carolina to positively impact education for all children in our state.
● This summer, our High School Student Diversity Club (with the support of staff members) is offering meetings (Zoom for now and in person when safe to do so) as a space for high school students to come together to deepen their understanding of racism in the US, process the recent events, and brainstorm their own personal action steps. More information coming from them in the coming week.

Parents, we expect to be held accountable to our pledge to continue this important work. We ask that you stay in close discussion with your children and we particularly encourage you to ask questions about what they are hearing and seeing. They need you. If you need resources, we will provide some that may help. Many of our students are scared, angry, confused, and fearful. Now is the time to be ever vigilant about what they are seeing and saying on social media. You are their first and most important teachers and good children make mistakes. Talk with them and make sure they understand your family values and thoughts around these confusing times as well as your family expectations with social media. Civility (particularly on social media) in discussion matters and we as adults must help lead the way as role models.

Community School of Davidson was built on the power of relationships and celebrating the unique individuality of every student. We believe our relationships will be the foundation of what carries us through these difficult times. We are truly and deeply honored to partner with each of you to raise our children together.