Pittsburg Schools superintendent releases statement on racism, recent events

Superintendent Richard Proffitt released the statement on Tuesday morning.
Pittsburg Schools Will Be Open For 2016-2017 School Year
Pittsburg Schools Will Be Open For 2016-2017 School Year
Pittsburg Schools Will Be Open For 2016-2017 School Year

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg schools superintendent Richard Proffitt released the following statement on racism and recent events Tuesday morning.

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Pittsburg Community, 

In the past three weeks, I have been troubled over what is happening in our nation. The events that have transpired have compelled me to write this letter to our school community. I do not believe this is a political issue in which our representatives can pass legislation that will ensure that these issues are dealt with. Racism remains a systematic social issue in America in which we all play a part to correct. In education, we have an obligation to teach our students about the importance of respect, for others and ourselves.

The Dragon Way states: “The Pittsburg Community Schools system is committed to the belief that every child has worth, dignity and potential. It is our responsibility to assure that the children that attend our schools believe that of themselves. As educators, we will build positive relationships through a caring environment and a commitment to learning that empowers each child to experience positive growth and development.”

The Pittsburg Community School District strives to provide an environment that is inclusive of our students. However, we must face the fact that at times we have not done as good of a job as we needed to. We need to be culturally responsive and encourage difficult conversations on racism, diversity and equity. I hope that there is a conversation in every home about this issue. We must have honest dialogue in which we truly listen and understand each other in our community and in our schools. Unless we are willing to have discourse in which we are truly attending to the thoughts of others, we will not make progress in this area.

We are fortunate to have a strong partnership with the City of Pittsburg, our Local Police Department, and the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office. We believe in the strong relationships built between our students and our School Resources Officers and appreciate their work to help us create a safe environment for all students.

I know that we can do better and we need to. As we begin our next school year, we will be focused on reintroducing students to our school environments. Concerted and focused efforts will be made to reconnect students to other students, their teachers and the school. Developing an atmosphere in which every student feels the worth and value they deserve is foundational to our work.

Each student matters to us, and each staff member matters to us. We have work to do in this area. Please know that the Pittsburg Community Schools does not stand for racial intolerance and we will continue to educate our staff and students on becoming more culturally responsive citizens.

We want you to know we are listening today and will continue to listen.”

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