HPS Statement of Solidarity with Our AAPI Students and Community
March 17, 2021
Dear Families, Colleagues, and Partners,
At Hartford Public Schools, we are alarmed and saddened by the recent rise in hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. As a school district that values equity, diversity, and inclusion, we are opposed to the intolerance and bigotry that members of the AAPI community have faced during this pandemic. We stand in solidarity with our AAPI students, families, staff, and partners who have experienced any racist comments, bullying, or attacks.
In our district, over 800, or about 5%, of our students identify as Asian, and numerous AAPI languages are spoken by our families, including Tamil, Karen, Bengali, Vietnamese, Malayalam, Mandarin, Japanese, Lao, Khmer, Malay, Cantonese, Thai, Korean, Burmese, Urdu, and Hindi. We celebrate this rich diversity and honor the heritage and culture of our AAPI students and their families.
Equity is central to the vision and mission of HPS. Building a welcoming school culture and nurturing climate is a major priority for our district. We empathize with all members of our community who have been marginalized and stigmatized. We are committed to providing support through access to social-emotional learning and trauma-informed counseling. Our district and school leaders are deeply engaged in anti-racist professional learning to build our knowledge and capacity to create a welcoming culture and partnerships with all our families. HPS teachers, support staff, and administrators are committed to cultivating inclusive, engaging learning environments where all our students feel safe, respected, and valued.
Let’s all continue to dedicate ourselves to supporting our AAPI students, families, staff, and partners through this challenging time.
Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez
Hartford Public Schools