May 30, 2020
Dear Members of the Wellesley Public Schools Community:
In a spring that has been defined by COVID-19, it might be easy to overlook the recent events highlighting the deep racial divides that still exist in this country. The video footage of Ahmaud Arbery being attacked while simply jogging down the street and George Floyd pleading for his life are far from isolated incidents and are, in fact, emblematic of realities that our communities of color face in this country every day. And as horrifying as these examples are, I know that I can leave my house right now and feel no anxiety that my skin color might put my life in jeopardy. My white privilege affords me that luxury.
But then I think about our students, their families, and staff of color who attend our schools. What are they feeling when they leave their homes? How are they feeling after watching the same haunting videos I have seen? They don’t have the luxury to compartmentalize their reactions from their daily routines. In short, they don’t share in the same privilege that I and others possess.
We are a school district that prides itself on a set of core values to which we strive to adhere every day. These values are largely grounded in how we treat one another. It is in this spirit that I have to acknowledge that our communities of color are experiencing a great deal of pain right now. And as members of our broader school community, it is important that we speak with one voice to both object to the attitudes and actions behind these recent events and to stand in support of our families and colleagues who are uniquely impacted by them. That’s what One Wellesley is all about.
Please continue to stay safe and take good care of each other.
Dr. David Lussier
Superintendent of Schools