In Times of Civil Unrest, Lead by Example, Honor the Legacy of Nonviolence

To my beloved APS students, families and colleagues,

I’m heartbroken, as are you, during these challenging times. This message is especially for our students:

We have supported you in silent and peaceful demonstrations against gun violence and climate change during this administration. Our district has stood with you and embraced your leadership and growth in civic engagement and the meaningful impact it can have on social change. If you are choosing to be involved, please continue to lead by example along with your caregiver/parents’ permission. Remember, even though school is out, you still have many supports, such as your principal, your counselors, your teachers, your bus drivers, your coaches, your Superintendent — and, don’t forget, your school resource officers who have protected and developed relationships of trust with you as police officers.

Please follow City and State directives. I encourage you to heed the words of one of this community’s most cherished civil rights icons, Representative John Lewis. “Be constructive, not destructive,” he said. “Rioting, looting, and burning is not the way.”   

As our community’s future leaders, and our students, you have led movements of national significance and we supported you during those silent and respectful protests. Continue to exhibit that kind of leadership. Follow that model for the change you seek. It’s a model for change deeply rooted in our legacy of nonviolence, and continue to make us proud.

Be safe. Be responsible. Be respectful. I love you!

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