Board of Ed Delivers Statement Denouncing Racism and Hate

Anne Arundel County Board of Education. Photo: AACPS

“Our Board and our school system emphatically applaud and enthusiastically support the unanimous anti-hate message sent by the Anne Arundel County Council through Resolution 22-17 on June 5, 2017.

Across our county every day, we seek to teach more than 81,000 students to believe not only in the limitless power of their potential but in their ability and opportunity to fulfill that potential. That quest should never be allowed to be derailed by the acts of hate and intolerance like those we have seen across our county, state, and nation recently.

Our students have all too often been exposed to unfortunate and painful incidents of hatred and prejudice. This Board and Superintendent George Arlotto have been – and will continue to be – passionate and vocal advocates for inclusion, for appreciation of the rich diversity that is a strength in our school system, and for the need to put in place processes that foster that appreciation. We have done so, and will continue that work. In our quest to Elevate All Children and Eliminate All Gaps, all must mean all.

The mission to create a society free of the painful, deep, and long-lasting wounds that discrimination in any form brings about begins with awareness, understanding, and empathy brought about by simple conversations. Resolution 22-17 adds the Council’s powerful voice to those of students and some community members who have risen above despicable acts and loudly proclaimed that hate has no place in Anne Arundel County.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools staff, the County Executive’s Office, and others, have been discussing ways to generate and continue that crucial discourse. We would be pleased to have members of the Council and any other individual or group be a part of that dialogue.

We reiterate the sentiments expressed by Board President Stacy Korbelak at January’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast: Our children are watching us, and we must be the examples as we rally around them. It is also our duty to listen to them, for there are times when our children are the best teachers.

As the school year draws to a close, we embark on a summer filled with myriad opportunities for each of us to have conversations that begin to build those critical bridges of awareness and understanding. We implore every resident of our county, as Dr. Arlotto did with students and parents in his Thanksgiving message last November, to reach out to someone you may not know very well and simply discuss the differences – be they race, ethnicity, political mindset, gender identity, sexual orientation, or some other characteristic – that exist among two people.

The eradication of prejudice and bigotry is something that no individual, County Council, or school system can accomplish in isolation. That duty belongs to every person, business, governmental entity, and organization in our county. If we are to create the world we want for our children, we must come together to be greater than the sum of our individual parts.”

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