Dear Lemon Grove School District Parents, Families, and Friends,
The recent tragic events in our country and our local communities must serve as a reminder that we still have much work to do in creating more inclusive environments – for our students, our community, and our nation. As a district, we have a responsibility to make sure we are doing our part to foster equality, empathy and kindness. Lemon Grove schools are diverse environments where our youth can learn acceptance and belonging. Our classrooms serve as gathering places for much more than education – they help us all recognize, understand and appreciate our differences. We continue our commitment to help our students learn about our country’s long and continuing struggle to live our ideals of liberty and justice for all.
The recent deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Sean Reed in Indianapolis, and Tony McDade in Tallahassee, have left us with a clear affirmation that bears reaffirming today – the Lemon Grove School District must be diligent in our daily efforts to be a safe and welcoming place for all. We believe deeply in ensuring students are healthy, supported, engaged, challenged, safe, and socially and emotionally intelligent. Our district has adopted policies and implemented procedures to ensure that everyone in the Lemon Grove School District community has the opportunity to learn and work in an environment where they are treated with dignity and respect, free from bullying, discrimination and/or harassment.
The Lemon Grove School District does not discriminate on the basis of color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, veteran status or disability. We know we have much work to do to ensure we reach our aspirations for our African American and Black students. Initiatives we have in place, and will continue to support include: staffing a Social Worker in every school, a district Wellness Initiative that supports social, emotional, and physical well-being of our students, UCSD Free Dental Clinic located at Lemon Grove Academy Middle School which is available to ALL students in the district, and the continuation of our Art, Music, and PE (AMP) program at all of our elementary schools, to provide instruction for a well-rounded education experience focusing on the whole child.
Areas where we see that our district can seek to improve in the near future are strengthening our formal Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs at all schools, training and stronger implementation for school staff in restorative practices, ensuring that our curricula and instructional resources are culturally reflective of our African-American and Latino/a students, and also implementing a district-wide, college-going culture and involving families in this work.
Even when we are struggling with what to say and we don’t have all the answers, we must engage our children in difficult conversations and encourage them to ask questions about race and racism. This must be a shared responsibility for everyone in this community. Our children are watching and learning from us, and they are counting on us to do better.
Here are some resources for you, as parents/guardians/family, that might help you discuss the local and national events taking place.
- San Diego County Office of Education Equity Resources
- Table Talk: Family Conversations About Current Events
- Talking to Young Children About Bias and Prejudice
- American Psychological Association book recommendation: Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice
- Engaging Young People in Talk about Race and Racism
Supporting Kids Through Stressful Times and Difficult Topics
- From the National Association of School Psychologists
- National PTA: discussing difficult topics with your children
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 619-825-5600. We will identify the right person to get back to you.
The Lemon Grove School District Board of Trustees: