Falls Church City’s School Board held a special meeting Thursday night to adopt the following statement providing its collective voice to the nationwide protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, among other African-American victims of police violence.
Its statement reads as follows:
“The Falls Church City School Board stands in unity with the families, loved ones, and communities of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the many other African Americans who have suffered injustice or senselessly been killed. We stand with the hundreds of thousands in the country and around the globe protesting peacefully and loudly to speak out against these needless deaths and to confront racism, bigotry, discrimination, intolerance, and systemic inequities in our society. We condemn the words and actions of those, especially leaders, who have fostered division, not unity, and whose use of violence and threats of violence to quell those peacefully speaking out for equality threatens the foundations of democracy itself.
“It is not enough for us to declare that we are not racist and that we are non-discriminatory. It is imperative that our School Board and the Falls Church City Public Schools (FCCPS) community at large commit to equal opportunity and actively practice and promote anti-racism and call out injustice, inequality, and inequity. The International Baccalaureate curriculum commits us to teach students to be principled, open-minded, and caring; we must demand the same of ourselves, our communities, and our leaders.
“Falls Church City Public Schools exist to serve all our students, our families, and the entire community. The Board has continually worked to foster equality and equity for all. The Falls Church City School Board reaffirms our commitment to these core principles. The FCCPS Division-Level Equity Team has actively been working to address identified issues and not shy away from hard questions and uncomfortable realities. We are also addressing new concerns highlighted by the uneven impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to be vigilant in watching for and addressing issues as they arise, decisively and unapologetically. As a Board, we commit to you that we will continue this important work, and over the coming months, the Board will continue to reexamine our policies and practices using the dual lenses of equity and equality to ensure they support the entire staff, our students, our families, and all whom we serve in the wider community.”