Today was the funeral of Philando Castile, a black man who lost his life during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights. Like many of us at Northeast Metro 916, Philando dedicated his professional career to serving children. While any loss of life is tragic, this has been an especially difficult time because it happened in our community.
Additionally, the law enforcement officers who work in our schools protect and serve us every day. Many times they make it possible for our students to get to and from school, or to get back to class when they’re struggling to stay focused. That is one of many reasons why we are also mourning the deaths of the Dallas police officers in the events that followed Philando’s death.
Today, technology has made it possible for everyone in our community -- regardless of race -- to see systemic inequities up close that have existed for generations. This is painful for anyone who cares about justice and civil rights. As a school district, we have made equity a priority in our schools, classrooms and in our business practices. Our hope is that through acknowledging inequities and changing our practices, we can contribute to a more peaceful and united community in generations to come.
Families can reach out to their child’s school if they need to talk to a social worker about their feelings. Staff are reminded that they may call the Employee Assistance Program for free, confidential counseling if they need it.
As a school district, we acknowledge the stress that the last week’s events have put on our communities, and how difficult this has been for our students, families and staff. You are all in our thoughts.
Northeast Metro 916 is one of three intermediate school districts in Minnesota, serving approximately 4,000 students through shared programming that includes career and technical education, special education services, area learning centers and elementary education.