Dear Kelvyn Park Students, Families, and Community Members,
Black lives matter. A history of pain and suffering have publicly been brought to light with the unjust murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, at the hands of a white police officer. Watching this event unfold and learning the horrifying details, I was infuriated and nauseated—no person deserves to be treated this way. As a result, a nationwide movement to end racism and oppression from white people in positions of power caught fire. But George Floyd was just the most recent victim of systemic racism that has plagued the Black community and communities of color for centuries. It must stop.
Unity is more important now than ever. Across the country, citizens are protesting police brutality and the broader systemic racism against all communities of color. Peaceful protests calling for reform turned violent at the hands of very few whose sole mission was to incite mayhem. That violence spilled off the national stage into our streets and homes, further perpetuating the oppression against Black and Latino communities. Decimated businesses, home invasions, and threats to the safety of our families were just some of the tragedies the Hermosa community endured. Now more than ever, interracial coalitions are needed to peacefully and effectively oppose systemic racism and actively pursue equity and justice for Black and Latino communities through unified efforts.
Listen, learn, and love one another. I love you all. I love our students, parents, teachers, staff, and community partners. I love the diversity that every single one of you brings to the school to make it better. I am humbled and inspired to lead our school through and beyond these troubling times. I invite you to help me lead. Actively ask your brothers and sisters of our community what they need from you, listen to them to understand their perspective, and learn what they would like to see happen in this moment in order for us to collectively move forward and build a better future. Share what you learn.
Support our youth now with an eye to the future. The burden of psychological, emotional, and physical suffering—days, decades, or centuries old—should not be placed solely on the students of Kelvyn Park. But the reality is many must navigate a world that is figuratively and sometimes literally burning to the ground. Our school is here to support you. We have social workers, counselors, and other professionals with expertise in guiding young adults through the stresses of life beyond the classroom. Reach out if you or someone you know needs help.
The healing process will not be easy, but we are committed to creating a safe space for all community members, listening to student voice, focusing on equitable and restorative practices, and taking action to disrupt systemic racism. We will tirelessly seek what is best for our students’ social, emotional, and intellectual development to empower our community where all voices are embraced. I miss you all and cannot wait to have you back in the building.
Keith W. Adams, Ed.D.