An Open Letter to Parents and Students:
A little over a month ago, I wrote about the sadness I felt following the shootings at mosques in New Zealand. Now, just six months after the horrific shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, we have another tragic shooting at the Chabad of Poway in San Diego on the last day of Passover. This act comes a week after attacks killing hundreds of Christians during their holiest times in Sri Lanka.
It is difficult to find words to express my dismay with the fact that individuals being targeted on the basis of their faith, while in their houses of worship, is becoming a regular occurrence. Because of this, I find it necessary to reiterate to all members, of our schools that you are safe, respected, valued, and loved. Any hateful act targeting any group is unacceptable.
Moreover, I would like to reiterate the following: Burlington schools are places of acceptance. We must acknowledge that we all play a role in creating and maintaining these places. To fulfill that role, we must promote acceptance of differences and foster compassion and love. Please do not accept these mass killings as normal. Even if you have difficulty immediately identifying with those targeted, standing on the sidelines is an expression of privilege that is not worthy of our classrooms or our community.
Eric M. Conti,
Superintendent of Schools