Derek Chauvin Decision
April 20, 2021

Dear Families,

Almost one year ago, the world watched as former officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds as he took his last breaths. Today, Derek Chauvin was convicted of all charges. Like many in our community, I am relieved by this outcome and feel many other emotions.

We know that our students, staff, families, and our entire school community are impacted by this verdict and feel an array of emotions. At school, we strive to provide students a safe place to express their opinions and talk through their emotions without fear of judgment. We recognize that students, their families, and our staff have many different perspectives about the circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s murder, law enforcement’s response, and the community’s response to the situation as a whole. 

We intend to listen to our students and ask open-ended questions so we can better understand their perspectives, always with the developmental age of students in mind. As always, school social workers and other adults are available to speak with students and support them to process their emotions about the trial as needed. Please know our staff are also processing the decision and may need time and support to process their emotions as well.

Racial equity and anti-racism work are at the center of our strategic plan and everything we do in District 287 is because of our students. Their experience in District 287 matters. Their safety and well-being matter. Their belonging to our community matters. Supporting them to process and heal from trauma of all kinds, including race-related trauma, matters. We are here to support them, and this support requires that we look in the mirror, face our history, and change for the better. 

Again, our intent is to keep schools open because we know students depend on us for connection, safety, community, processing, and healing. Should any circumstances change this week and we need to move to Connected Learning, we will communicate with stakeholders by 6 a.m. I again want to share the vast array of resources and supports available to families on our racial justice web page. 
Racial justice web page
Most sincerely,

Sandy Lewandowski

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