Response to violence in Atlanta3/18/2021
Hello Vestal Community...I know I am sending mahny emails lately, but this event cannot go unaddressed,
especially as we are a school that is always learning about how to be a school communtiy
that stands for justice.
As many of you know in the last weeks there has been increasing violence and hate speech
directed at the Asian-American communities in major cities in the US, including Portland.
Recently, here in Portland there have been rocks thrown through Asian-American-owned
businesses along the Jade Corridor and there have been violent attacks against members of the
Asian American community at bus stops and on Trimet. Although this behavior is not new, it
has escalated due to the COVID pandemic and the false “blame” for the pandemic being put on
the Asian and Asian American communities.
This week's horrific violent killing of Asian women in Atlanta is yet another stark and terrible
reminder of the impact of gun violence...and whether or not this is determined to be a hate crime
based on race, the hurt caused to other people is hurt to all of us.
At Vestal we want to be clear that we stand against anti-Asian speech and acts of
violence. As a school for Social Justice, we recognize the value and importance of each
member of our school community and want to affirm that our school and our community will not
tolerate anti-Asian statements or acts. We encourage our students, families and community
members to report any hate speech or acts of violence to the police, and to assert that violence
and hate against any of us is violence and hate against all of us. If you or your students hear of
or experience any hurtful language at school or within the school community, please let Ms.
Flamoe or Mr. Wilebski immediately so we can take action to stop it.
We want to encourage you to have conversations at home with your students to talk about bias
and hate. Specifically, we see how comments and actions that blame a group of people
for events in the world hurt individuals and our entire community. As a school, we have taught
our students to be UPSTANDERS instead of a BYSTANDER and encourage all of our students
to tell a trusted adult when they see or hear anything that hurts another member of our community.
We believe in individual identity, community diversity, and taking local action for social justice.
We stand together.
In Peace and with Hope,
Sabrina Flamoe and Jeff Wilebski