As your Mount Si High School Principal, I would argue my top priority as a principal is to ensure a safe and welcoming environment at Mount Si High School for each student, staff and community member. No student can engage in the high quality and rigorous academics that Mount Si High School offers without knowing they are loved, valued, honored, safe and accepted.
The death of George Floyd a year ago brought forth many emotions in all of us, including feelings of anger and fear. However, for my Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students and community members, this event was exceedingly distressing and exhausting as these types of incidents have occurred much too often.
Like you, I am concerned of issues of equality in our country and I am very focused on issues of equity and inclusion here at Mount Si High School. With the current guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin in the murder and manslaughter death of George Floyd, I want my students, my community, and my staff to know we are doing everything in our power to bring these issues to the forefront of our work.
The verdict is one small step in the right direction, but there is still a great deal of work to do here at Mount Si High School. We currently have a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team in place, and we are actively working with staff on professional development and new teaching approaches to purposefully remove systemic racism in our schools. We are using our school curriculum, clubs, ASB, school policy, and advisory lessons to bring this important issue to the forefront of our school culture. In addition, the Snoqualmie Valley School District also has formed a group of community stakeholders to address these same issues and is working towards implementing new district policy.
As a staff, we are excited about and inspired by this work and deeply committed to ensuring all students at Mount Si High school are honored and valued. We are all striving to do our part to ensure that we as a school community remove any and all acts of racism as well any practices that are discriminatory, bigoted, or racist. We will continue to dismantle systemic barriers that result in disparate outcomes for BIPOC students and closely monitor our discipline and achievement to continue to close this disparity.
In talking daily with our students, they are concerned, too and we owe it to them to be fully engaged in this work. I wanted you to know as your high school principal I take this work to heart and will do all I can do to find equality and justice every day at Mount Si High School.