LHISD Mid Week Message
Celebrate the Great things happening in LHISD
I'll Never Know
Dear Panther Students and Families,
You have heard a lot from me over the last few months as we have dealt with the challenges of COVID-19 and the pandemic. We, as a community, have handled gracefully the challenges of school closure, social distancing, learning from home, feeding the community, and helping our neighbors who might have lost their jobs or might have gotten sick during the last two months.
LHISD has been there to support you, to feed you, and to encourage you. As a community, you have in return supported and encouraged us. Our police department played a huge role in that endeavor helping to keep everyone safe, building healthy relationships, and making home visits to check on the well being of our families and students. I have great respect and appreciation for our officers.
As I have watched the events of the past few days, I spent time in reflection trying to make sense of it all. Protests and racial tension are no strangers to America or even the world. The quote above is from an MLB baseball player, Jake Diekman and really struck a chord with me.
For a quarter of a century, I devoted my life to making sure the youth that I come into contact with know they are loved and appreciated; that they have value and that who they are and what they do matters. As a history teacher, I have even tried to teach them a little about history along the way. What a history lesson we had this weekend. On the same day we put Americans into space again, Americans were fighting and protesting against racial inequality that still exists.
We pride ourselves as a school district in the designation of being a “No Place for Hate” district but must walk the talk. I would love to tell you that Liberty Hill ISD is immune from hate and racism but the reality is that both exist from time to time. In Liberty Hill ISD we are not immune to acts of bullying, racism, and other behaviors that fall below the line of what would represent the character of a LH Panther.
Our Vision is to build Champions in academics, CHARACTER, and community. Our Mission is to help our students become the best version of themselves. You cannot convince me that anyone's best version of themselves has room for hate; has room for racism, or has room for violent acts against another. Building a Championship Culture and creating students that have Championship Character means we must learn from the past so that it is not repeated, tolerated, or accepted. Nelson Mandela has a popular quote that states, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
I'll never know what it is like to walk into a classroom and be judged by the color of your skin, but I will do everything I can to make sure there is an adult in every LH classroom that makes you feel welcome.
I'll never know what it is like to be bullied for the color of your skin, but I can do my part to create an environment and culture where all students are valued and celebrated.
I'll never know what it is like to be teased because you may look different, but I can do my part to teach all students to be respectful and kind and not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to those that cross the line.
I'll never know what it is like to arrive at school on Monday hungry because you have not eaten all weekend, but I can promise you will have a hot meal waiting for you.
I do know that if we don't pay attention, things will not change.
I do know that if we look the other way, things will not change.
I do know if we do not talk about it, things will not change.
I do know that if we do not take action proactively, things will not change.
If the quote by Nelson Mandela is accurate, then Liberty Hill ISD must do what we are designed to do...
- Teach! Teach our students lessons that promote good character and citizenship. Teach our students to speak up against bullying and racism and prove to them that hate will not be tolerated.
- Encourage! Encourage our students to participate in creating the learning environment they need.
- Develop! Develop good behaviors and a spirit of community, based on what we model.
- Support! Support them so that they can grow and become enriched in this school district.
As a school community, we are resilient. We will find a way through this for the good of our Liberty Hill community and the good of our students as they grow and spread the lessons learned wherever life leads them.
As a school community, we must not be silent on this issue. Leaders in this district will help lead discussions. Student voice will be a powerful ally in developing that Championship culture.
Parents, below is a link to the Parent Toolkit site. On the site are several ways to talk with your children about race and racism. Together, let’s continue to work for a more humane, safer, and civil society.
Friday, we will graduate 282 young men and women who represent what is good in Liberty Hill and our society. They are prepared and equipped to handle life's challenges with grace and kindness and leave it in a better place than they found it. We are proud of what they have accomplished and excited about how they will lead and improve the future.
Be well, and take care of each other.
With Great Pride,
Superintendent of Schools
Liberty Hill ISD