ETHS Statement: Reaffirmation of Equity Work
The following information was distributed to ETHS students, families, and staff on October 2, 2020.
To the ETHS family,
At ETHS, we are committed to being an antiracist school district, championing equity, racial justice, and social justice. Our school board has adopted policies and an Equity Statement setting the direction of this school district, prohibiting all forms of harassment, racism, bullying, intimidation, or hate speech. There is no place in this school, no place in this community, and there should be no place in this nation where any form of racism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, or white nationalism is tolerated. There should be no place for haters and hate groups. Local and national leaders must, without hesitation, denounce white supremacists. Our messaging denouncing them must be clear, unambiguous, and unwavering.
ETHS welcomes and embraces all people of all races, cultures, heritage, ethnicities, family backgrounds, languages, religious traditions, sexual orientations, gender identities, and personal customs. That should be true for our entire nation as well. Except for the indigenous people whose ancestors were born on this land, every one of us can trace our ancestry to other parts of the world. Being white does not make haters superior to any other people in this nation. White power groups must be denounced outright. They do not represent what this nation stands for. This is not their country—this country belongs to us all and we all belong here. Moreover, we must protect each citizen’s constitutional rights, including the right to vote, and ensure that all votes are counted as equal.
Speaking personally, I am deeply worried and deeply troubled when an elected leader fails to denounce racism, white supremacy, and white nationalist groups. We cannot ever let the haters represent who we are as a people.
For the sake of our young people, for the sake of our beloved community, we must stand strong together.
Eric Witherspoon, Ph.D.