May 31, 2020
Dear Silver Falls School District Families and Staff,
We know many in our community are terribly troubled by the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the violence that has followed throughout our country. We join you in the grieving for innocent people, taken needlessly from their families and this world, and for all victims of racial violence and oppression.
The unrest happening in our country is unfolding against the backdrop of a continuing pandemic. This concerns us deeply, especially now, because our students are experiencing emotional distress at a distance from us and the support of their friends, teachers, counselors, coaches, and the rest of their school community. We will be reaching out to our staff with reminders to check in with students to ensure they are getting what they need during this time.
We in Silver Falls School District have taken strides to be more equitable, and we must do more. We adopted an equity policy just weeks ago (read it here: SFSD Equity Policy – Adopted 5-11-2020), our staff received training on equity this year, and we will continue to strengthen our collective anti-racist efforts to be the allies and champions our students deserve. This is work without a finish line.
We want all our students and their families to know that in the Silver Falls School District, we are dedicated to delivering the best of who we are, so that every student can become their best self. We stand with our students of color and their families in grief for the loss of our fellow Americans, and in resolve to eliminate systemic oppression, in our community and beyond.
Thank you for bolstering students with us, and we look forward to the time when we can be together again.
Paul D. Peterson