FUSD Superintendent: ‘a Time to Acknowledge That Pain and Hurt’
Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson said Tuesday that he joins with the rest of the community in mourning the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, a death that has sparked protests both peaceful and violent across the country.
Nelson said Floyd’s killing has caused pain and sadness not only within Fresno’s African American community — whose members include Fresno Unified students, families, and staff — but across the city as a whole.
“There are no words that can change the pain our community is feeling, and words absolutely cannot bring back the precious lives of our brothers and sisters who have been violently ripped from this world because they were not afforded the same level of humanity as others in their midst. … This is a time to acknowledge that pain and hurt,” he said Tuesday in an open letter to the Fresno Unified “family” and community at large.
Nelson urged everyone to redouble their efforts to learn about racism and how to combat it, and to advocate for those who are victimized by racial injustice and inequity.
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District Committed to Black Students: Nelson
The district is committed to improving academic opportunities for black students through recommendations by the African American Academic Acceleration Task Force, he said.
Black students in Fresno Unified schools perform at significantly lower levels academically, which the district has tried to address through after-school and summer programs that specifically target that population.
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Nelson pledged that the district will continue to focus on developing educational curriculum, advocacy, outreach, and staffing that are designed to boost black students academically.
Community efforts such as Sunday’s peaceful rally and march in downtown Fresno that attracted about 3,000 people help keep a spotlight on the need to address injustices in the city, Nelson said.
“The complexities of these times will continue to leave lasting and painful memories for our children, our families, our valley, and our nation, and it is during these times that we must press harder, lean in more, LISTEN, and act,” he said.
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