The superintendent of a Minnesota school district called last week’s Capitol riots “white supremacy in action” in an email sent to teachers and staff.
Superintendent Mary Kreger of Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools said the “Storm the Capitol” protests in both Minnesota and Washington, D.C. were “even more personal and hurtful for people of color.”
The email was co-signed by School Board Chair Jackie Magnuson and Dakota County United Educators President Kate Schmidt.
“We are progressing through a pandemic, renewing our commitment to equity after George Floyd’s killing, and now we are processing the threat to our democracy that occurred yesterday in our nation’s capital. We witnessed white supremacy in action. This is not about politics. It is about systemic racism. It is about an affront to our democracy,” said the email, multiple copies of which were sent to Alpha News.
Kreger and her colleagues said it is the job of teachers to help students “process these events” and “create space for staff and students to process.”
“We know the impact of yesterday’s events in Washington, D.C. and at the Minnesota Capitol in Saint Paul is even more personal and hurtful for people of color. Some of our staff and students of color, and others, may need to take a break from regular work activity today. Let us all make space to do so,” the email continued.
They concluded their message by calling on educators to “find the optimism in that we are capable of rising above these traumatic events to create a better school system.”
“We can be reassured that our Congress did come together and affirm the democratic process, re-establishing hope for our future,” they said.
The Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school district is the fourth largest in Minnesota with 29,000 students in a community of 150,000 residents.