April 21, 2021

Dear Freeport Families,

The past year has certainly been challenging for our schools and community. At the same time we were dealing with the trials brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we also found ourselves facing endemic racism. Across our nation, communities united as a force to condemn the biases, injustice, and violence associated with racism. We vowed to rise above and remain dedicated to uphold the dignity of all members of our society. Black Lives Matter movements encouraged us all to show our support and to remember our responsibility as a society for everyone. We cannot be silent in the fact of injustice, racism, and biases.

The cries for social justice and reforms have been an on-going struggle in our nation. With the guilty verdict involving the murder of George Floyd, we have hopefully reached a pivotal point in this journey.  We are all pleased when our judicial system works and justice is done, but we know there is important work ahead. United voices were raised contributing to this outcome. Reforms are needed and we must continue to remain aware, vigilant and ready to be heard. An awareness of our own biases and our impact on others is key to moving ahead to a more just and equitable future. As Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

Last week, the New York State Education Department released a draft framework for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for New York State schools. I am proud that Freeport Schools is ahead of the NYSED in this regard. For the past two years, Freeport Public Schools has been dedicated to the important work of building awareness of implicit biases, and embracing diversity, inclusion and equity through professional development and curriculum. Our journey has deepened this year, and we are having courageous conversations that has led to greater understandings and inner growth. We remain committed as we take further steps integrating the pillars of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with staff, students, families and the community.  It is our responsibility to educate our children to grow into caring, competent, open-minded citizens with strong self- awareness, social awareness, social responsibility and good judgement.

We are the Changemakers who can transform the life pathways of our children through equity, accessibility and the instruction that celebrates our diversity and differences. Freeport Public Schools has long embraced the celebration of Peace and unity. We are teaching our students to be ambassadors of peace, justice and equity.   Our students are the leaders of our future. They will advance the lives of others through social justice, equity for all and the ability to think critically and be empathetic. Together, we will make a positive difference in our schools, homes, and communities throughout the world.

Regards,

Dr. Kishore Kuncham