Statement from the Syosset Board of Education and Dr. Tom Rogers
We have witnessed in horror the rise in violence, hatred and discrimination against Asian American communities that has taken place over the last year. As a District that celebrates its diversity, works hard to promote inclusivity, and strives to promote equity in school and beyond, we condemn this abhorrent behavior and stand in solidarity with any members of our community who have been affected by it.
As leaders and educators, we believe our work is fundamental to building a future where every individual is equally valued and celebrated, and every person's potential can be realized and fulfilled. To that end, the Board and the District have set policies in place and supported the important work of examining our school environment to promote an inclusive and supportive culture for all. Our schools and classrooms must be places where students feel safe and know they belong.
Racism, bias, intolerance, and hate have no place here in Syosset.
Our Diversity and Inclusivity Task Force, established over a year ago and now over 65 members strong, has bolstered and guided our work in building on the strength of our diverse community, creating a socially cohesive climate and supporting equitable access and opportunity for all. Members of the task force range from District administration, teachers, parents, community leaders, members of the Syosset Interfaith Council of Clergy, members of our Board of Education and of course, students. The group is focusing on the student experience, our curriculum, professional development for staff, our hiring practices, and our community outreach. This ongoing effort to engage our students, faculty, staff, and community in important and thoughtful dialogue has advanced our cultural competency and our efforts to support a socially cohesive climate, and we are committed to building on and broadening this work.
Through intentional effort to understand one another, we can appreciate the similarities that bond us together. Our implementation of K-12 social-emotional initiatives, efforts to build a restorative culture, partnerships with local and national anti-bias organizations, student-led efforts, intentional shifts to the curriculum, professional development for our staff and the ongoing work of the Diversity and Inclusivity Task Force, helps empower our learning community to contribute to an inclusive climate.
We have worked hard and made some significant advancements, but this work is never done. We remain committed to provide safe, inclusive, and supportive environments in our schools. And we encourage all in our community to speak up and take a stand against hate.
This is a difficult time. Our team of administrators, school counselors, social workers, and psychologists are ready to assist students with anxiety or concerns. Alternatively, help can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or here. We urge every member of our community to listen to and support one another.
To our Asian American students, families, and staff, we are one community. We value you, we support you, and we stand with you.
The following two statements were read at the June 17, 2020 Board of Education Meeting.
Ms. Tracy Frankel, President of the Syosset CSD Board of Education, said the following on behalf of the Board:
Statement by Dr. Rogers, Superintendent: