Statement on Racial Equity

In the wake of the horrific death of George Floyd, a wave of peaceful protests and demands for racial justice and equality has flowed across the country and the entire world. Stillwater is not alone as we have witnessed disgusting racially charged behavior in our community this summer as well.

With the backdrop of this pandemic, and its unfair burden on people of poverty, as well as black and brown people across our state, we are called to stand up and take action to right the wrongs in our community and to demand equality for all people regardless of the color of our skin.

This profound moment has ignited a fire, and we must not allow the flame to go out. We must sustain the energy to inspire and propel our community to behave, and to be, better.

A diverse group of current and former Stillwater Area Public Schools students signed a letter in June, giving rise to their voices in this struggle. These students have demonstrated impressive courage in their commitment to bring about change in our schools, not for themselves, but for future students. They want to stop the needless suffering of students who have diverse backgrounds in our schools. They want administrators, teachers, counselors, and support staff to understand their experiences, and to change how we all treat one another and work together. I honor their work, and I am deeply thankful for the opportunity to face these challenges together.

My Commitment:

  • To continue to press for progress

  • To listen to all voices and seek student perspective in particular

  • To make hiring decisions with intentional desire to increase the diversity of our staff

  • To celebrate diversity in our schools and community

  • To improve curriculum experiences to include diverse perspectives, in particular a more full and authentic treatment of American and Minnesota history

  • To provide resources and experiences in our community that will foster conversation and understanding

  • To redesign and revamp district policies that address how we treat one another and how we work together, e.g. discipline, bullying and harassment policies, and invite students to help create a better way

  • Improve and increase professional development for all staff

  • Provide more support for students

  • Seek ideas for how we can continue to do better

  • To ensure that all students enjoy outstanding learning environments, reasonable class sizes and extraordinary educators