Pottsgrove Calls for Solidarity Against Racism

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – “As a safe and supportive school community, we value everyone and believe that our differences make us stronger and more resilient,” Pottsgrove School District Superintendent Dr. William Shirk wrote in an open letter addressed to all Pottsgrove families, distributed Thursday (June 4, 2020).

Shirk’s missive dealt specifically with protests and emotions surrounding the death of civilian George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis MN police. In it, he encourages everyone in or associated with the district to “stand in solidarity against any and all acts of racism, disrespect and inequitable treatment of persons of color.”

Here’s the letter in its entirety:

“The Pottsgrove community has faced much adversity over the last several months as all families have dealt with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the closure of schools, to the steep downturn in our economy and resulting impact on jobs, to measures implemented to try to keep everyone healthy. Our lives have been turned upside down. Messages of hope and unity have shown us how we can get through this pandemic together.”

“However, today I am writing with a heavy heart recognizing many of us are deeply saddened, outraged, and dismayed by the tragic death of George Floyd, which occurred while being taken into custody by the Minneapolis police. In witnessing the events unfolding across our country, it was evident that much anger, fear, and pain exists. These tragic events illustrate just how much work remains for all of us in creating an inclusive environment for our students and our community.”

“As a safe and supportive school community, we value everyone and believe that our differences make us stronger and more resilient. Let us stand in solidarity against any and all acts of racism, disrespect and inequitable treatment of persons of color.”

“I want our students, staff, and families to know that we support you. Many of our students and staff are finding these tragic and unjust events difficult to process. Please know that you are not alone.”

“Talking about violence, racism, and traumatic events can be difficult for families. As a school community, it is imperative that we reach out to one another and show the compassion, empathy, and respect that everyone deserves.”

“As a District, we are committed to serve all students and families, staff, and members of our community. We will continue to celebrate each individual, while honoring and valuing everything that makes them who they are. We hope we can contribute to the processes of healing and change while growing our sense of togetherness.”

“Let us all take time to reflect.”

Photo of protesters at a May 30 rally in support of George Floyd in Columbus OH, by Paul Becker (Becker1999) from Flickr via Wikimedia. Used under a Creative Commons license