An Important Message
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Dear Families, Staff, and Students,
Let me start by saying this message is not the result of one particular event. However, I felt the need to address our school community after learning of many disturbing incidents that have been reported across the country, many close to home.
As a school community, our number one priority is always to provide a safe and supportive environment for all. We are proud of the diversity of our student body and believe it is essential we provide our students a learning environment where their identities and voices are affirmed, valued, and represented. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, race/ethnicity, gender identity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, language, culture, religion/beliefs, mental and physical ability, and national origin. Supporting all students means supporting all students.
As a school community, we must speak out against all forms of prejudice and hate. It seems like every day we hear of another act of hate targeted at a student due to their race, sexual orientation or ethnicity. The acts of hate that are reported to the police or schools are only the tip of the iceberg. Many more victims do not report the crime to authorities. This is unacceptable. We must all send a unified message to our students and community that we expect better from one another. As a District, we reject racist and hateful behavior. We aim to promote and celebrate diversity and foster an inclusive environment where all are welcome, respected, and feel a sense of belonging. These are the values we want to instill in our students and the values we believe our employees and community members should model.
As a school community, we remain committed to the continuous pursuit of a respectful, compassionate and inclusive society. It will take the collective efforts of our entire PPS community - staff, students, and families - to combat hate, racism, and discrimination. Education and conversations are ways in which we can all promote inclusivity and kindness in our community.
We must all rise up together, and say, “not in our schools”. In Plymouth, we affectionately refer to ourselves as “America’s Hometown”. As such, we should strive to be an inclusive community and an example to the rest of the world that kindness always wins over hate. We may not be able to win the war on hate alone, but if we do nothing, we certainly will lose. As one of our students recently stated so eloquently, “It is our differences that make our community the beautiful, strong, and unique place that it is. At the end of the day, we are all human, and we have to remember that”.
Thank you for your continued support.
Superintendent of Schools
Continue the Conversation at Home
“Beyond the Golden Rule” A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice
LGBT Youth Resources: resources from the CDC, other government agencies, and community organizations for LGBT Youth, their friends, educators, parents, and family members to support positive environments.
EmbraceRace.org: resources for young children available for parents, grandparents or other caregivers or for early childhood educators.
DitchTheLabel.org: Supportive resources for people aged 12-25 through some of the biggest challenges in their lives.
InternetMatters.org: Talking to Teens about Cyberbullying.
Stopbullying.gov: Resources for Parents
Visit our Diversity Committee page on our website for more helpful books, community groups, support services, and websites.
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