June 7, 2020
Dear PUSD Community,
|My name is Adrienne Konigar-Macklin and I am privileged to serve you and your family as President of Pomona Unified School District’s Board of Education. However, today I write to you from a very somber place as I reflect on the overall health and welfare of our nation, our state, and of our PUSD community in the cities of Pomona and Diamond Bar.
On behalf of my Board colleagues and our Superintendent, Mr. Richard Martinez, I would like to acknowledge and empathize with our students, families and staff who are coping with the trauma of witnessing both the televised murder of Mr. George Floyd, and his untimely funeral services this past week.
Countless individuals within our PUSD family are grappling with the preventable and deeply disturbing murder of an unarmed Black man, and the deep-seated flaws in our system that perpetuates racism in our nation and communities. Hundreds of news stations, and all social media outlets, are reporting that Americans are fed-up with a culture of racism. Each of the nation’s fifty states held some form of peaceful protest or demonstration to exemplify this fact.
To be clear, we are experiencing a global and allergic reaction to the malignant disease of racism in the United States. Simultaneously, we are battling an indiscriminate COVID-19 pandemic. Both diseases have led to widespread stress, outrage and grief.
The burden that these diseases are currently inflicting upon our African American brothers and sisters are doubly destructive to their households, personal economies and their overall physical and mental health. In particular, our African American administrators, teachers, students and parents are experiencing an inexplicable, familiar and unwelcomed hurt, which flares far too often.
The anguish of George Floyd’s senseless murder has breached the boundaries of race, creed, ethnicity and nationality. As citizens of the human race, the misery and disappointment is shared by old and young; Black and White; rich and poor.
The feelings of fear and a loss of trust and injustice are only made worse because we are not in school together. Even though we are not physically together to discuss this tragic event and the unrest we are seeing, we can offer some support. Our school district is just one part of our larger community, but we play an important role.
We strive to do our part to build an environment that embraces and welcomes everyone. We sometimes fail in that mission when a student, a family or a staff member feels unseen, unheard or unwelcome. However, we want our students, alumni, families, employees and community partners to know that we are committed to standing together during this national crisis, and we condemn the heinous murder of George Floyd.
In response to the killing of George Floyd and those before him, my school board colleagues and I want to reiterate five deeply held core beliefs that we reference daily as decision-makers for this school district:
Please be assured that we will never stop listening, learning and working to fulfill our responsibilities to our community. When our PUSD work and school families feel pain, the Board of Education feel it as well.
- We believe in the inherent dignity of each individual;
- We believe in creating a safe social, emotional and physical environment to allow for authentic connections and trusted relationships;
- We believe the strength of our diversity is one of our greatest resources;
- We believe teaching and learning are active and lifelong processes; and
- We believe that working together with families and support networks is essential to student success.
Our schools, local neighborhoods, and our regional community must be safe havens where all PUSD children are heard, respected, nurtured, and are guaranteed equity and justice.
If you know of a PUSD child or team member who wishes to talk with someone, please reach out by calling (909) 397-4800. Our Mental Health Support staff are all here to help with direct access to appropriate resources. We know that connecting with a trusted wellness ally, community partner, or family member is critically important when individuals need help with processing grief. Our PUSD team is here to listen, learn and support.
Your Board of Education:
Adrienne Konigar-Macklin, President
Andrew Wong, Vice President
Frank Guzman, Board Member
Dr. Roberta Perlman, Board Member
Dr. Jason Rothman, Board Member
Richard Martinez, Superintendent