From John P. Xanthis, Superintendent
The events that are taking place in our nation and our community have left me with a deep sense of frustration, anger, and sadness. The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and so many others are horrific and inexcusable, as is the ongoing violence against the black community. The oppression and cruelty taking place around us is unspeakable and truly breaks my heart.
We are currently in the process of developing a Community and School-Based Racial Equity in Education Committee to better understand and respond to the issues of racism that exist in society and at Valley Central. We empathize with the community and condemn hatred, injustice, and destruction at all levels.
Racism is not a disease from which Valley Central is exempt and I am dismayed to see inappropriate, offensive and sickening social media posts from some of our own students. These posts are under investigation by both the Montgomery Police and our District. The District will not tolerate hateful and discriminatory speech or threats of violence. Valley Central is committed to confronting racism in all forms.
Valley Central agrees that all children in our care deserve to feel safe, valued and above all heard. I am committed to identifying and resolving racial differences in the experiences, education, and well-being of our students. Together, the school and the family must lead the change that will create lasting equity for all people in our community. I agree that we must do more for the families who entrust their children to our care. We must support efforts that will give all of us the tools we need to combat racism, oppression, and hateful acts in all forms. Our staff and administrators will continue to be trained in culturally responsive teaching in order for all of us to better understand and work with our children of color.
I know that it is imperative to find ways for all of us to engage in constant self-reflection, encourage constructive conflict, and make changes to our systems and our policies. I want nothing more than to engage with one another and collaboratively design learning environments that will be liberating for all. I understand that everyone wants to feel they are being listened to and I assure you, Valley Central is eager to listen to your concerns.
Most importantly, I want every student in the Valley Central School District to know you are valued, respected, and loved. We can and will get through these difficult times together.