Equity » SVSU Antiracism Statement

SVSU Antiracism Statement

In June of 2020 members of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union administration issued the following statement about the need to fight against discrimination and to work for an educational environment which fosters equity, fairness, diversity and compassion. As the school year is underway, we believe that it is important to re-visit the words and stance we took in June. It is important for our community to understand that as educators we are striving for unity by standing against systemic racism, sexism, implied bias, classism, heteronormativism, ableism, and any other bias.
Dear SVSU Community,
 
Silence is the voice of the oppressor. Our current times press us to make clear our values and join forces with those who stand against discrimination. As a school system, we are a small representation of our larger society. If they are not acknowledged, injustices that exist outside our school communities live and are reborn within our walls. As a collective leadership team, SVSU will not accept the perpetuation of the status quo, and we will seek to grow in our understanding and confrontation of passive and active racism, sexism, classism, heteronormativism, ableism, and any other bias holding one group in a higher power than another. We will stand with community action groups working to end discriminatory systems of power, and we promise to continue our personal and community journey towards a more just world, especially when it becomes difficult to do so.
 
In our experience, we have come to understand children are fully able to participate in conversations about equality, equity, and social justice. In fact, they are eager to do so. We encourage you to have conversations about these deeply rooted issues in American history, to ask open questions, and to listen to your children’s thoughts and feelings. Please find the following list of resources to lead conversations with your children about social justice issues.
We look forward to connecting both within our individual school communities and our larger SVSU community for education and activism.
 
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu
 
In solidarity,
SVSU Leadership
James R. Culkeen, Superintendent
Laura Boudreau, Assistant Superintendent
Kate Abbott, Interim Director of Student Support
Meghan Mezkat, Associate Director of Early Education
Frank Barnes, Director of Educational Technology
Nick Gault, Director of Human Resource
Renée J. Gordon, Director of Finance and Operations
Melissa Senecal, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
Charles Connelly, Associate Director of Special Education
Paul Demarco, Associate Director of Special Education
Dawn Campbell, Associate Director of Special Education
Donna L. Cauley, Principal, Monument Elementary School
Todd Phillips, Principal, Pownal Elementary School
Edie Dunn, Principal, Bennington Elementary School
Jerry O’Connor, Associate Principal, Bennington Elementary School
Donna Bazyk, Principal, Molly Stark Elementary School
Kimberly S. Tenner, Assistant Principal, Molly Stark Elementary School
Jeff Johnson, Principal, Shaftsbury Elementary School
Sandra Foster, Principal, Woodford Hollow Elementary School
Tim Payne, Principal, Mount Anthony Union Middle School
Toney T. Lee, Associate Principal, Mount Anthony Union Middle School
Christopher Maguire, Associate Principal, Mount Anthony Union Middle School
Steve Nixon, Principal, Mount Anthony Union High School
Christopher Barnes, Associate Principal, Mount Anthony Union High School
David Beriau, Dean of Students, Mount Anthony Union High School
Nancy Vanderbilt, Director of Guidance, Mount Anthony Union High School
Ashley Hoyt, Activities/Athletic Director, Mount Anthony Union Middle/High School