Superintendent Statement on Violence Against Asian Americans
Dear CCS Community,
As the Superintendent and leader of Columbus City Schools, I strongly condemn the recent acts of violence toward Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander communities. Xenophobia, prejudice, racism, and violence have no place in our society, nor are they acceptable in our school community.
Columbus City Schools is committed to providing safe, supportive, and inclusive learning and working environments for our 50,000 students and 9,000 teachers and staff. The District does not tolerate discrimination in any form.
We live in an increasingly diverse world, interacting with people of various ethnicities, religions, and cultures. As the largest school district in Ohio and one of the largest urban districts in the United States, our classrooms reflect the communities where our families live and work. Differences make these communities richer and more vibrant and provide an important backdrop to how we educate our children.
Education is key to understanding the world in which we live. We must be intentional and forward-thinking in how we approach cultural awareness as an urban school district. Learning how to talk to one another and educating ourselves about the differences we see around us is how we build community. It is critical for us to have conversations around race relations and cultural differences to lift up and celebrate the diversity that makes Columbus City Schools so special.
I recognize that this is a difficult time for our community, especially for our Asian populations. We must take a stand against bias, racism, and cultural insensitivity. We encourage every member of our community to listen to and support one another. Allow this to be when we lift and celebrate all voices, including our Asian communities.
For our educators and caregivers, here are a few links to get started on how to address current events with our students and colleagues:
- Countering Coronavirus Stigma and Racism: Tips for Teachers and Other Educators
- Countering Coronavirus Stigma and Racism: Tips for Parents and Caregivers
- Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
- After Atlanta: Teaching About Asian American Identity and History
- Classroom Resources and Tips To Address Anti-Asian Discrimination
- How to support Asian American colleagues amid the recent wave of anti-Asian violence
It is also important to recognize that Asian Americans have made tremendous contributions and continue to shape the narrative of this country -- from the earliest Asian immigrants who helped build the railroads to the Asian scientists who made significant advancements in cancer detection, to the Asian architects responsible for designing some of the nation's most iconic buildings, and the critical social justice work in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Here is an article on Asian American contributions that need more recognition.
Superintendent/CEO, Columbus City Schools