While our Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) communities are separated because of COVID-19, our students, families and staff are witnessing and grappling with unspeakable violence – Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade – are all Black lives who mattered. The Frederick County Board of Education condemns the senseless killing of people of color. We believe it is essential to speak with one voice to reiterate that racism, brutality, hatred, and injustice are not tolerated in our school system.
Black intellect, voices, work, and culture have empowered EVERY civil rights movement. As protests continue around the country, we remember that it was Black folks like Marsha P. Johnson who led the Stonewall Riots that changed the trajectory of the rights movement for LGBTQ+ Americans. Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Sojourner Truth, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and many other Black women infused power into the women’s suffrage movement, even though they were often excluded. The march for inclusion, equality, liberty and justice for all continues, often painfully, with people of color still leading—while being unjustly targeted, excluded and subject to racist acts and other violence in our neighborhoods and communities.
Every child in our school system must feel safe, welcome and affirmed for exactly who they are—in school and in our community. The violence we are all witnessing hurts our children. We welcome ALL voices from the community to continue supporting practices that ensure that each and every child feels welcome in our classrooms and sees her/him/themself in our curricula. We have much work to do, especially to ensure that children of color can see teachers or staff members who look like them.
FCPS is firmly committed to equity. Our process is imperfect, but in-progress. Our Board is committed to listening and learning. We are proud of the diversity and care in our Frederick County community. We know many families, especially black and brown families, are hurting very much. Education is a pillar of liberty and justice, and we are committed to helping every student grow and gain solid footing for a life that is meaningful and productive.
Brad Young, President
Jay Mason, Vice President
Liz Barrett, Member
Michael Bunitsky, Member
Rae Gallagher, Member
Dr. Lois Jarman, Member
Karen Yoho, Member
Malachi Macon, Student Member