Statement on the murder of George Floyd:
I am pleased to release this statement in conjunction with my colleague Jake Karnopp (Jake4Fridley):
June 16, 2020
George Floyd’s murder has deeply impacted our community. Jake Karnopp and I want you to know that we hear you. We see you. We are here to partner with you. We want to provide space to listen to how you are feeling and hear what your ideas are to create a more inclusive educational environment during this moment in history. We are also here to lead and ensure that our district is doing everything we can to realize your ideas through legislative action. We must work together to more mindfully provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for all of our young scholars.
We know that the images of George Floyd’s death caused many to experience trauma. The resulting protests that followed have opened a floodgate of emotion for our students, our families, and our broader community. We understand that when one of our community members is taken from us in such a violent way, many will experience an array of emotions. We are here to help you work through those emotions. Our students have their eyes wide open. They are watching the world, their neighborhoods, and most importantly they are watching us. We must recognize and acknowledge that solemn responsibility to the next generations. As board members, we are elected by our community to stand up and support our families, to speak out against injustices that harm us and others, and to ensure our schools are a welcoming place for all of our students.
There are no words that can take this pain away from our young people and our families. Over 450 of years of institutionalized and systemic racism in this country will not be erased in one simple message. However, it is our hope to convey that we are listening, our hearts hurt with you, and we want to actively work with our Fridley community to heal this hurt through community discussion followed by measurable policy action.
As board members, we are committed to fighting with each of you to end systemic racism and to realize racial equity and social justice – not just in our schools, but in our broader community. We will continue to support the recruitment, hiring, and retention of teachers who both visually reflect our diverse community and who share our goal of an equitable and inclusive school district. We believe through hard work – and a lot of listening and learning – Fridley can continue to be a leader in our state.
Our district recently made our commitment to equity work a year ago in a powerful way when we passed one of the first school district equity policies in the state, Policy 105 (there are under 10 districts statewide that have done this). This was a huge statement of commitment and approval of this work within our district.
Social justice work is not something that is new here. With the help of many of you, our district has been working for a number of years on innovative policies that center equity and inclusion because each individual child is unique, and assuring they learn in culturally competent ways is the most important responsibility that we have. You can learn more about our equity work HERE: https://www.fridley.k12.mn.us/…/105_Equity_and_Inclusion_Po….
We have long standing relationships with our local legislators and we will continue to build relationships with them to demand the funding we need to give our students the education they deserve. We are committed to assuring the quality of education received by each student is not determined by their zip code. We refuse to continue to be told by lawmakers that there isn’t enough of our tax dollars to fully fund our programs. Every day we see the devastating results of undervaluing and underfunding our schools and we are committed to continuing our advocacy for our students at the State level.
Fridley is a strong community – in fact, it is our broader family – and in our elected position we owe it to each of you to speak up against injustice. Together we will fight for change, leaning on and learning from each other. We are proud to be nurturing and growing the next generation of leaders and we will model our behavior and our public policy to meet the urgency of our time.
As your Fridley School Board member we are here to listen to you. We will continue the fight shoulder to shoulder. Together we are stronger.
Fridley Police Are Doing Their Best To Send Kids Out Of State
“Every two years 7th and 8th grade Fridley Middle School students receive the opportunity to attend an east coast trip where they tour Washington DC, Gettysburg, and New York City. The students must apply and interview for a spot on the trip. Around 80 students are slated to take the trip in the spring of 2017, and all of them will need to fund up to $1,600. This high cost can seem very intimidating to some families, which is what motivated a group of parents to come together to form a fundraising committee, T.R.I.P (Tiger kids Reaching and Inquiring while Pursuing knowledge), which is focused on raising funds for their students…..”