Here is the text of my comments from the board meeting last night:
Normally I prefer to use my board member comments to thank people — district employees who work tirelessly in service of our students, students who work hard to succeed, community members who step up to help.
Today I want to use my time to say thank you, but I want to be very deliberate in what I am saying.
Thank you to the educators, support staff, administrators and leaders who supported our children today. Thank you for answering questions and offering solace. Thank you for changing lesson plans or tossing lesson plans out the window. Thank you for helping our students make sense of a world that doesn’t always make sense.
Sometimes in the aftermath of tragedy, I’m nervous to speak up in public because I feel it’s not my place. I will talk to friends or acquaintances, saying I’m sorry that they don’t feel safe living in their own skin in America. I will tell my children that they are beautiful exactly how they are, and people who say otherwise are wrong. Shouting from the rooftops isn’t always my thing.
But this weekend I decided to use my microphone to say very clearly and very directly that white supremacy and hate are wrong. Institutional racism is wrong.
What happened in Charlottesville isn’t a problem that's 1,200 miles away. In Oklahoma City, we know the damage white supremacists can do. The aftermath of one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in American history is three miles from this room.
Today, I have no doubt that Oklahoma City educators and school employees put their regular work on pause to help students who are trying to process a parade of Nazis carrying torches. So thank you to those adults who comforted our students today. Our children need all of us more than ever, and they need us to say that white supremacy and all its incarnations are not OK.
You can also watch my comments in the video below, beginning at 31:50.