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HSE Schools pledges to continue the conversation after Chauvin conviction

Derek Chauvin
Posted at 11:54 AM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 11:54:13-04

FISHERS — Hamilton Southeastern Schools officials said they stand with students of color in fighting injustice and racism following Tuesday's conviction of the former Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd in May 2020.

Derek Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter nearly 11 months after Floyd died in police custody. Protests in response to Floyd's death, along with the police killing of Dreasjon Reed, took place in Downtown Indianapolis last spring and summer.

"We cannot address problems that we refuse to see, and we pledge to do better for all our students," HSE officials wrote. "The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor and recently, Daunte Wright, are a critical reminder of policies and practices which have negatively shaped the experiences of our black and brown children and that we have more work to do to create and sustain a just and equitable society and school system."

The officials added they understand the pain many students and teachers feel when "discussing the inequities in the current judicial system."

"We have heard from parents who have described the task of preparing their children for the two Americas," they wrote. "The racial division that we see today is not a new phenomenon; it is centuries-old, embedded in the fabric of our country."

Read the full statement from HSE below:

Dear Hamilton Southeastern School Community,

We hope the outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial will begin to bring healing to our community and address the many factors that we know adversely affect families of color. While justice prevailed in this case, the racial trauma and repeated exposure to stories of violence and inequalities is still an on-going concern.

We cannot address problems that we refuse to see, and we pledge to do better for all our students. The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor and recently, Daunte Wright, are a critical reminder of policies and practices which have negatively shaped the experiences of our black and brown children and that we have more work to do to create and sustain a just and equitable society and school system.

We also understand the pain that many of our students and teachers feel when discussing the inequities in the current judicial system. We have heard from parents who have described the task of preparing their children for the two Americas. The racial division that we see today is not a new phenomenon; it is centuries-old, embedded in the fabric of our country. Dr. King articulated the impact of racism when he noted, “But tragically and unfortunately, there is another America.” And so today, we affirm the following:
  • Black Lives Matter.
  • We stand united with our students of color and allies in the fight against injustice, racism and discrimination.
  • It is our responsibility as a school community to uplift our core values of awareness, advocacy, social justice and empathy.
  • We are not powerless to change; we are committed to moving beyond good intentions to measurable and impactful results.
  • Racial justice initiatives are for the common good of all children.
  • We will continue to engage stakeholders in conversations, even when it is uncomfortable. All HSE students benefit from an anti-racism education.
  • We commit to turning the mirror inward and advancing an anti-racist and equity-based learning community.
Students are encouraged to reach out to their building equity coaches, counselors, teachers and administrators to help in processing the news about the Chauvin trial. Attached are tips to keep in mind when discussing this event with your family. More information and resources are also available on the HSE Equity Page.

HSE Schools

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