Response to Recent Acts of Violence
March 19, 2021
Dear Lowell Public Schools Students, Families and Staff,
This week marked one year since we were originally forced to close our schools due to COVID-19. And since the onset of the pandemic, horrendous racist and xenophobic incidents targeting members of the Asian and Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have dramatically risen in the U.S. and around the world. Tuesday’s horrific shooting in Georgia, where a gunman killed eight people – six being women of Asian descent – is yet another case of hate-driven violence that we must address as a nation and local community.
Schools are microcosms of society – the problems that exist in the broader society are also reflected in schools. Thus, when faced with an option to denounce hate, or remain silent, the choice to speak out and take a stand against violence, racism and discrimination is a simple one to make and an important message to have resonate within our schools and across our classrooms.
We are committed to ensuring that all of our students, families and staff are treated with dignity, respect and cultural understanding.
While this latest attack may not have happened here in our city, this incident and other recent events targeting Asians and the AAPI community can leave some of our community members feeling vulnerable. Lowell has been - and continues to be – home to a vibrant Asian community. Twenty-eight percent of our student body identifies as Asian. So in this specific case, speaking out also lets members of our Asian and AAPI school community – our students, staff and families – know that we stand in solidarity with them.
But we must do more than simply offer words of support. As we prepare to expand in-person learning next month, we remain committed to taking steps to ensure that our students, families and staff are informed of our stance against racism, xenophobia and any form of bias. And we will continue to make students, families and staff aware of the new mechanism we’ve put into place for reporting racism and bias-based incidents within our schools as we continue to improve our systems to ensure our schools are safe, affirming and inclusive learning environments.
I remain confident – that if we work together – we can deliver on our fundamental commitment to equity, as one district, one community, one Lowell.
Dr. Joel D. Boyd
Superintendent of Schools