Hello Rider Families,
As we learn more about the Coronavirus, it’s important to remember to wash your hands, cough in your elbow, and stay home if you have a fever. The district, county health, and state are sharing information each day. As more information is available, I will share it with you.
As we continue to learn new information about the spread of the virus, we need to remember to be compassionate and thoughtful as we talk about this illness. It has been reported that some students were joking about having the Coronavirus and other students overheard their conversation and became very concerned. Please talk with your student about the fear and uncertainty this illness is bringing to our communities, and remind them that this is not something to joke about. Right now, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in any Portland Public School.
More importantly, our Asian students are reporting an increase in xenophobic and racist remarks and actions focused on them because of the location of the initial outbreak of the Coronavirus. It is being reported that students are hearing remarks in the hallways and in classrooms. We need to stand in solidarity with, and be active allies for, our Asian students right now. This discrimination is something that is being reported in the news across the country and the world, so it is not isolated to Roosevelt. However, it is important that we ensure we are creating a safe space for our Asian students and families and we do as much as possible to create a safe school environment for all of our students.
We are working with our Asian students to find ways to support them at this time, and we hope you will talk with your student about the importance of being an ally to groups who are facing discrimination. APANO - an organization that focuses on the Asian Community in Oregon stated it best in their recent email message - “As we face the serious challenge of coronavirus, we urge our community to come together to combat misinformation with facts, to fight fear with compassion, and most of all, to care for those who need it most in this moment.”
I appreciate our celebration of diversity at Roosevelt, and I know, as Riders, we can come together to be allies for all students no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or ability status. Thank you for being allies for our Asian students. And thank you for being Riders!
KD Parman, Ed.D.
Roosevelt High School