A Message from Dr. Culverhouse regarding recent events

A Message from Dr. Culverhouse regarding recent events

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff and Community,

With everything happening at this time, I feel the need to share my thoughts and feelings related to the recent violence taking place across our nation. We are living in a time of profound unrest. We are horrified by the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others before them. 

In the last year, we have had to discuss many issues including immigration, school shootings, COVID-19, the collapse of our economy, and the injustice of racism and inequality. This is the time for LHCSD to raise our awareness and commitment to the principles of kindness, common decency, morality, and equity. Some of our children are seeing the news, hearing conversations around the dinner table, and most likely confused and scared at times. Talking with our children may be very difficult, but critical.  

The change we want to see in our nation and throughout the world needs to start within ourselves. We need to engage in conversations, regardless of how difficult they are, to recognize the importance and value of every human being by our words and actions. 

We need to follow the lessons we teach our children at a very young age, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” “If you see or hear something, say something.” Do not stand passively by when you hear another person use disparaging or derogatory comments towards another human being. Speak out against those who are perpetuating hate or bigotry. Stand up and have those difficult discussions to re-center the importance of our commitment to each other and to a society free from violence, racism, and injustice. 

As community members, parents, educators, and citizens we all want the same for our children; we want them to become their best self, be proud, happy, and come home safely every night. The troubling events in recent days require our attention as we work to teach future generations and ensure they have the confidence to build a more equitable world.  

Schools were closed on March 13 and our children have been confronted with many challenges and changes. As the adults in their lives, we have had the overwhelming responsibility of guiding them through distance learning and now we are helping them cope with the heightened tensions and uncertainties of the future. Below are a few resources to support parents/guardians, and educators in the conversations you may be having with your children: 

Talking to Kids About Discrimination

31 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race

Talking to Kids about Racial Stereotypes

Children’s Museum of La Habra: We’re Better Together: What We Can Do At Home to Stop Racism.

Supporting Vulnerable Students in Stressful Times: Tips for Parents

Managing Strong Emotional Reactions to Traumatic Events: Tips for Families and Teachers

I continue to be humbled by the number of committed parents, guardians, staff, and community members who support LHCSD and remain committed to equality. Neither hate nor racism is tolerated in our District. Both continue to leave scars on our community whether spread like wildfire online or spoken within our schools. I am unwavering in our dedication to solving issues that arise in our community and within our schools. We are committed to the hard work of achieving racial equality in our schools. Now, more than ever, we will continue to correct and address practices that perpetuate institutional racism. We commit to being a partner in problem-solving and finding solutions and strategies to ensure that the words equality and justice are not just hollow platitudes, but truths that our students can count on. 

We are stronger as a community when we come together in times of uncertainty, frustration, celebration, tragedy, and deep sadness. Our children, more than ever, need to feel safe and be heard. Please continue to listen, reassure, and affirm them. They give us hope for the future. 

La Habra City School District is Stronger Together More Than Ever! #1Team1Vision.

Joanne Culverhouse