A Message from Superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon on Anti-Asian Violence
In the wake of vicious, and in some cases fatal, attacks on Asians and Asian-Americans, I want to express my feelings of both sadness and outrage at the dramatic increase in anti-Asian violence across the nation within the last year, including here in Florida. It is unacceptable.
Alachua County Public Schools is fortunate to have a very diverse population of students and staff, including many people of Asian descent. That diversity is one of our district’s primary strengths. It is beyond distressing to know that any of them might be targets of prejudice, hate and violence.
Our district has policies in place confirming that we will not tolerate discrimination in our schools and worksites and recognizing that any form of discrimination or harassment can be devastating to an individual’s academic progress, social relationships and/or ability to work. We also provide educational programs to teach our students the importance of social awareness, respecting diversity and accepting others. We will continue to review those programs regularly to ensure they are meeting the needs of our students.
We encourage our students and families to report instances of bullying and harassment to the staff at their school. They can also send a report through our Bullying Information website at www.sbac.edu/reportbullying or by phone at (352) 955-7200.
Families and students may request counseling services for students experiencing stress, anxiety or other issues through our mental health website at https://fl02219191.schoolwires.net/Page/24778.
The National Association of School Psychologists has created a website of tips for families on countering COVID-related racism, particularly against people who identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander. That website is https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/countering-covid-19-(coronavirus)-stigma-and-racism-tips-for-parents-and-caregivers
We all have a role to play in ensuring that all people, including our young people, are treated with respect in an environment free from bigotry, violence and hate. Alachua County Public Schools is committed to doing its part in this important work.
Carlee Simon, Ph.D.
Alachua County Public Schools