Be Kind, Be Respectful, Be Better Every Day

published June 8, 2020

Dear Families,

We have reached the end of a school year that brought a challenge we had never seen before as we dealt with the impact of COVID-19.  A wide-reaching series of events, triggered by the tragic death of George Floyd, unfolded in recent days.   Last week, our community experienced a devastating fire that displaced people and families. 

We know there are a multitude of emotions our students, staff, and families are experiencing during this difficult time.  What we are seeing at home and across the nation is traumatic. We must pause and acknowledge the anger, pain, grief and trauma many students and adults are feeling during this time.  

Recent protests and demonstrations have provoked difficult conversations among families and friends. These conversations are necessary for us to move forward. While parents and guardians serve as the first teachers their children encounter, we understand that we have a responsibility to provide a high-quality education for our diverse student population; preparing them to become informed and active citizens and positioning them to become leaders.

Dr. King once said "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." We as a community must address injustice.  We are all in this together and if one of us is not treated fairly, we all suffer.  We are committed to ensuring that our learning environment is supportive and understanding of the cultures our students represent. We will be intentional and purposeful in fighting inequality, promoting inclusion, and helping ALL our students reach their potential. 

Finally, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Should you need help dealing with recent events, please reach out to me, one of our school counselors or the other resources in our community such as Heartland Counseling, Catholic Charities and others.  We are honored and privileged to be a part of your lives. With this honor and privilege comes responsibility.  We commit to do all that we can to educate, respect and empower our children to help make this world a better place. 

To help make sense of what our students, families and staff are experiencing right now, below is a list of resources that may help.

Be Kind, Be Respectful, Be Better Every Day!

Sincerely,

Todd Strom, Superintendent
South Sioux City Community School District