Superintendent's Message, Sept. 6, 2017

  • Dr. Cohn
     Dear friends and neighbors:

    On Tuesday, Aug. 29, our board of directors joined many in our city, our state, and our nation by adopting Resolution 1158, reaffirming our district’s values, our policies, our procedures and practices, and the board’s directions to the superintendent to maintain safe and inclusive, indeed welcoming, schools for each student. Translations of the Resolution can be found at the bottom of this page.

    The board’s Resolution responds to what our nation witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia, media reports about which you likely witnessed. Charlottesville was overrun by groups espousing hate-filled messages. These groups’ words and actions run counter to everything I believe and everything I’m committed to in our work on behalf of our communities’ students. The actions and words are abhorrent to anyone who works in schools and believes in the value and potential of each one of our students, each person we encounter in this work, and each family that entrusts a child to us.

    The horrific displays of hate in Charlottesville stand in opposition to the fundamental beliefs on which our nation was founded, the guarantees enshrined in our nation’s and state’s constitutions, the expectations and standards of this community, and indeed the core values adopted by our board of directors for this school district – values by which we strive to live and work every day.

    This is not the American Way, the Everett Way, nor the way responsible adults in this community model and teach civility, responsibility, and acceptance for students in schools. Hate groups, hate speech, segregation, racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, violence, intolerance, bigotry, Nazi symbols and salutes, and symbols of the Ku Klux Klan have no place in our streets and will not be tolerated in our schools. Our parents’ generation fought a World War to roll back the onslaught of Nazism, fascism, and genocide; we have both the responsibility to teach that history and to model the defense of the values that opposed those evils.

    This resolution – a mechanism some may see as a dry, legal document of record – is backed by our board’s unwavering determination that our students, our staff, and families are learning, working and growing together in safe schools. It is a clear statement of support and care for every student who attends our schools, irrespective of his or her race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, marital status, age, military status, disability, or immigration status. All of us share the responsibility for proclaiming and maintaining the safety of all who enter our schools in to learn.

    As we launch the 2017-18 school year, I am encouraged and hopeful and enthusiastic about the challenges and achievements that lie ahead. While there will always be opposing views in our nation, the overwhelming response to unleashing or tolerating hate has been an outpouring of responsible people and organizations denouncing it. It is affirming and heartening to live and work in a community that truly values each child and that supports each child’s success. Welcome to a bright, promising year in Everett Public Schools. 

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    Dr. Gary Cohn
    Superintendent