On Tuesday, June 2, the San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee and Board of Education President Hector Camacho, Jr. released the following statement on racism and injustice in light of current events.
Dear Members of San Mateo County’s Education Community,
The San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools and the San Mateo County Board of Education stand with our county, state, and nation in grieving the recent tragic killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minnesota, in addition to the thousands of others who have been killed in like manner. We are compelled to confront the racism and injustice that threaten the American dream for so many. Despite the additional challenges of leading through the COVID-19 pandemic, we must stand up, speak out, take action, and fight for a better world for our children.
We extend our most sincere condolences to the Floyd family and to those most impacted by these tragedies. The trauma of living in fear and with violence hurts even the youngest members of our communities. It makes learning almost impossible and robs our young people of the joy that should be theirs as they grow up in America.
We ask the San Mateo County education community to join us, standing in active solidarity with our colleagues and families experiencing and living the current trauma. Together we have a powerful voice, and as educators of the county’s children we have both the opportunity and responsibility to doggedly seek change on behalf of our students.
In this call to action, we take responsibility for educating ourselves and others about the structures that perpetuate racism and oppression so we can work to change them. We will read, listen, and learn from those who have experienced these tragedies and who live with the fear and pain of racism every day. We will put that learning into action as we re-evaluate how we teach, what we teach, and even how we conduct and finance schools. We will be intentional in rebuilding an education system that has harmed so many of our students for so many years. And, to be clear, yes, our education system must change.
The San Mateo County Office of Education remains committed to our vision of excellence and equity for every student, every teacher, every school. We deeply understand that the cornerstone of a just and equitable society is a quality education that allows students to fully engage in relevant curriculum that reflects their lives and histories. Closing opportunity and access gaps is our moral imperative when we know that a quality education is the key to improving outcomes for so many children and families.
To accomplish this goal, we need to engage in open and honest conversations about racism in America and adjust our policies and spending priorities. Together let us find strength in our shared humanity and invest our best selves in our children’s future.
The following are some resources that can support our learning and help us lift our voices on behalf of our children.
A Conversation on Race: Short Films
Raising Race Conscious Children
26 Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance