Holley, Kendall superintendents join Monroe County school leaders in denouncing racism

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 June 2020 at 10:27 am

‘Our school communities have the power to turn pain and prejudice into healing and understanding. Let this moment in history be defined as a tipping point – a moment to truly come together.’

The school district superintendents at Holley and Kendall have joined Monroe County school leaders in a joint statement, denouncing racism and acknowledging “that discrimination exists in all of our communities.”

Brian Bartalo, Holley Central School superintendent, and Julie Christensen, Kendall Central School superintendent, are among 23 district superintendents pledging to take action to equity and inclusion for all students.

The statement from the 23 superintendents is as follows:

We, the superintendents of Monroe County school districts, stand together against racism.

We acknowledge that discrimination exists in all of our communities. We see it in the bias that exists within our districts. We see it in the trauma that hatred and oppression inflict on our students and families. We see it in the educational inequities that continue to perpetuate glaring disparities in student outcomes.

We know that the fight against racism, oppression and hate cannot fall solely on families of color or within the confines of only some school districts. We all must lead this transformation together. That’s why today, we are publicly committing to leading the change that will create lasting equity in our schools.

We will listen, and learn from those who have experienced these tragedies and who live with the fear and pain of racism every day. We take responsibility for educating ourselves and will be intentional in rebuilding our education system which has not served underrepresented student populations well.

All Monroe County school superintendents pledge to:

  • Assess policies and practices in order to ensure equality in hiring practices, provide access to high quality instruction, and decrease disproportionality in student achievement and discipline
  • Accelerate professional development in areas including culturally responsive education and restorative practices
  • Participate in the Regional Equity Network to promote equity in schools across the county
  • Partner with BOCES and the University of Rochester Center for Urban Education Success to develop common units of study to be included in the curriculum across all of our schools that will focus on how race, class and inequities have shaped Monroe County from 1964 to today
  • Listen and respond to the voices of our students and families of color, respect and value their experiences and perspective
  • Engage our students in student-led change initiatives (i.e., ROC2Change)

We stand united in our support of equity and inclusion and we claim schools as a place of love and acceptance for all. Our school communities have the power to turn pain and prejudice into healing and understanding. Let this moment in history be defined as a tipping point – a moment to truly come together.

Our children deserve better and we will do better.

In solidarity,

The Superintendents of the Monroe County Council of School Superintendents – BOCES I, Daniel White; BOCES 2, Jo Anne Antonacci; Brighton, Kevin McGowan, Ed.D.; Brockport, James Fallon, Interim; Churchville-Chili, Lori Orologio; East High School, Shaun Nelms, Ed.D.; East Irondequoit, Mary Grow; East Rochester, Richard Stutzman, Interim; Fairport, Brett Provenzano; Gates Chili, Christopher Dailey;

Greece, Kathleen Graupman; Hilton, Casey Kosiorek, Ed.D.; Holley, Brian Bartalo; Honeoye Falls-Lima, Gene Mancuso; Kendall, Julie Christensen; Penfield, Thomas Putnam, Ed.D.; Pittsford, Michael Pero; Rochester City, Lesli Myers-Small, Ed.D.; Rush Henrietta, Lawrence Wright; Spencerport, Daniel Milgate; Webster, Carmen Gumina; West Irondequoit, Aaron Johnson, Ed.D.; Wheatland-Chili, Deborah Leh, Ed.D.

Return to top