From the Desk of the Superintendent
On Friday, June 5th, our students (current and alumni) organized a community event to stage a peaceful protest following the public death of George Floyd.
As this demonstration was originally planned to be staged outside of one of our schools, District and City leaders took an active role to ensure the safety and well being of all. The student leaders reached out and worked in collaboration with the Pleasanton Police Department to ensure a well-planned and peaceful gathering at Amador Valley Park. We are fortunate to have incredible men and women serving in the Pleasanton Police Department, as well as many parents/guardians who have answered similar calls to public service. Our officers have and continue to act with respect and dignity for the community they serve in protection of the rights we hold dear and which define us as Americans. This includes the right to speak out and to take reasonable action in the face of racial and/or other forms of injustice.
We watched as upwards of two thousand community members of all ages, races and backgrounds gathered at the park. While deeply saddened by the events being discussed, I was struck with a sense of hope. The speeches of young people, community members, and Pleasanton’s Chief of Police were both meaningful and empowering. The crowd then took to the street and peacefully marched together. However, it was the 8 minutes and 46 seconds of quiet kneeling at the intersection of Hopyard and Valley that was most impactful - a quiet statement that will live on in the minds of participants for many years to come.
When the group rose, there was a sense of hope and healing, as well as an unspoken commitment to stand in the face of injustice and engage in constructive conversations about how we can peaceably move forward. May moments like this serve to help redefine us as individuals, as a community, and as a nation. While these events may fade from national and local headlines, it is critical that we continue to speak out for equity and advocate for the dignity and respect of each and every individual. PUSD is committed to supporting this conversation, as we embrace a better understanding of the issue and build a more equitable way forward. We also want to express gratitude to the young people who led in this community awakening and, in so doing, embodied our district’s mission by actively and fearlessly working to make the world a better place.
Superintendent of Schools