In horror we have watched and read of the recent senseless deaths of Black Americans. As a board and a school district, we want to say that we reject all forms of racism in our nation and community.
Schools are called to give children the opportunities they need to be successful. Ensuring each child has equity in accessing those opportunities—providing a welcoming and inclusive learning environment and providing safety and support—are paramount to meeting that mission. It falls upon us and all Richland School District staff to accomplish it.
Richland School District is dedicated to ensuring equity in its schools. This goes beyond making sure Black students and other students of color have access to opportunities. Our schools help students understand current events and their context in our nation’s story. They teach about racism and oppression in the past and in the present. They instill in students the importance of a diverse, democratic and just society and the need to be active citizens in their communities.
We recognize we need to do more. Our own Black students experience racism both within and outside our schools. What’s more, they see others in our community failing to call out racism, allowing it to continue. We understand that we as a nation and a community have a long way to go in fully embracing and lifting up all of our neighbors.
We know that some of our students are struggling with their own reactions to these recent events. If our schools were operating normally, they would seek guidance and support from our counselors, teachers and administrators. While such face-to-face interactions are not currently possible, we are working with administrators and counselors to identify resources for our students and families during this time.
We will continue to stand up to racism and inequities in the educational system and our community. We will challenge and inspire our students to move toward a society with malice toward none and charity for all.
Richland School Board Dr. Rick Schulte, Superintendent
Rick Jansons, President
Jill Oldson, Vice President