The Denver Public Schools Board of Education and Superintendent extend our support, thoughts and deepest condolences to communities in Buffalo and Laguna Woods, California in the wake of this past weekend’s shootings. Law enforcement are calling one incident a “racist mass shooting”, and calling the other a “politically-motivated hate incident”.
In New York, police say a White man drove nearly 200 miles from his home and opened fire on Saturday at a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood, shooting 13 people, killing 10, before surrendering to police. Law enforcement in California arrested a U.S. citizen from China who drove from Las Vegas to Southern California. Police say the man, motivated by anger over political tensions between China and Taiwan, entered a church on Sunday, opened fire and killed one person while injuring five others.
Tragic events like these serve as a painful reminder that we all still have much work to do in creating more inclusive environments – for our students, our communities, our nation and our world. As a school district, we have a responsibility to make sure we are doing our part to foster empathy and kindness. Our schools are not only diverse learning spaces where our young people can learn acceptance and belonging, these spaces are also gathering places for recognition, understanding and appreciation of our differences.
Denver Public Schools continues to be a Safe and Welcoming School District. We believe deeply in ensuring students are healthy, supported, engaged, challenged, safe, and socially and emotionally intelligent. We do not discriminate on the basis of color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, veteran status or disability. We stand ready to come together with other public leadership to step up efforts to support our young people and take action to stop violence.
We also understand that incidents like this can cause feelings of trauma, fatigue and stress for individuals, particularly for people of color. We encourage all of you to utilize the resources shared below as you navigate your feelings.
We are Team DPS, and we stand together.