Dear RPS Students, Families and Staff,
The recent event in Georgia, which left eight people dead, including six Asian American women, has shaken the Asian American community. We are heartbroken for the victims and their families, as well as the greater Asian American community, which has faced a dramatic uptick in racism and violence in the past year. One study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, documented a 150% increase in violence towards Asian Americans since the beginning of the pandemic. This comes at a time when many historically marginalized communities are also facing increased violence and discrimination.
In Richfield Public Schools, we pride ourselves on our open, welcoming community. We want every student, family and staff member to feel supported and valued. We believe that valuing diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives fosters unity and empowers all. In fact, we have woven diversity and equity into all of the goals within our 2021-26 Strategic Plan.
If you’re looking for ways to address anti-Asian discrimination, WeAreTeachers.com has compiled several resources that help explain the history of anti-Asian racism, how to create a welcoming environment, tools for use in classrooms and more.
As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” We are in a place to make a real, lasting difference in this world. Working together, we can seek to understand one another, develop our empathy and build lasting, meaningful relationships with those who are different than ourselves.
To all of our students, families and staff—especially those from marginalized communities—we are here for you. We see you. We hear you. We stand with you. As always, if we can be of service to you, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Superintendent Steven Unowsky
P.S. If you are the victim of bullying or harassment within RPS, we encourage you to report it. We have a new online reporting form that you can use. We investigate all reports and take them very seriously.