March 19, 2021,
Hello RIMSD Students, Staff and School Community,
Across the United States, Americans have been working hard to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 by increasing the number of vaccinations being dispersed, continuing to wear masks and social distancing as much as possible. While the number of cases and positivity rates are declining, another serious concern is rising, the unacceptable and unspeakable attacks on Asian Americans.
The senseless events that took place at the spa in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday, March 16th, serve as a constant reminder that racism is still present and should not be welcomed or tolerated anywhere. Incidents like this hit close to home here in RIMSD as we are the most diverse school district in the Quad Cities. Our district enrollment includes a large percentage of African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American students who attend our schools, live in our neighborhoods, and deserve to have a safe environment, free of what was experienced this past week. This incident, just like those that caused the racial unrest from this past summer, should also lead to a call for action from our community.
In our continued work around building cultural competence and increasing our knowledge and actions in improving diversity, equity, and inclusion here in RIMSD, it is my sincere hope and expectation that we work to become more understanding and acceptable of others. As educators, we CAN be more impactful in supporting the needs of our students; to combat the negative incidents that continue to happen in the communities in which they live, we HAVE to be more impactful.
Today, as we prepare to return from our spring intercession, I ask for us all to give our attention to the Asian American students and families in our community. Embrace them, welcome them, protect them, and ensure that they know they are safe. At the end of the day, we should want the same for everyone that is a part of our diverse city. We all need reassurance, especially during a time like this, that we are a school district united, and will continue to grow in our work of embracing and celebrating diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives of others.
Thank you in advance for your continued support in RIMSD.
Dr. Reginald Lawrence