Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman released the following statement regarding #BlackLivesMatter and the demonstrations that have been taking place across the country over the last week.
“Like so many Americans, I have spent the last few days watching anger, pain, and frustration manifest through demonstrations in cities across our country. These demonstrations are a direct result of continued injustices that threaten and silence the livelihoods of people who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in our communities.
“Educators are often the first to see how these injustices and racist systems impact the lives of our students. In 2020, I recognize that the impact of COVID-19, coupled with police violence, has inflicted increased trauma and harm on BIPOC communities. It is critical that local and school leaders address the social-emotional needs of their students, staff, and families. I encourage schools to use and implement the social-emotional learning resources found in our Reopening Guidance and Considerations to support a healthy and safe return to our classrooms.
“Furthermore, I encourage all of us – but especially those of us in positions of power – to advocate for and enact trauma-informed policies and practices that uplift and protect BIPOC communities.
“Finally, I want to reflect on the most recent victims of this crisis: #GeorgeFloyd, #BreonnaTaylor, and #DionJohnson. Their loss is felt foremost by their families and loved ones– and their presence in our communities cannot be replaced. “