Addressing recent concerns of racism, bigotry, and anti-Blackness in our schools

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Announcement Message

Originally posted on May 13, 2024. 

Dear SFUSD Community:

As we head into the final few weeks of the school year, I know this is a busy time for students, families, and staff. There are both joys and challenges before us right now. And, as your superintendent, I believe it is absolutely critical that no matter what else is happening in our lives, we take time to address serious concerns when they arise.

Specifically, I have recently been made aware of instances of anti-Black racism in our schools. Let me be very clear: There is no place for anti-Black racism or bigotry of any kind in our community. 

It is never okay to use speech or behavior that discriminates against or degrades another person on the basis of their race, ethnicity, culture, heritage, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical/mental attributes, or religious beliefs or practices. Board policy, district regulations, and California Education Code all explicitly prohibit this. More information can be found in SFUSD’s Student and Family Handbook. SFUSD takes reports of racism very seriously, and we encourage anyone who is a victim or witnesses such behavior to report it to a trusted adult at school. When we learn of a concern, we take immediate steps to investigate, educate, assign consequences depending on the outcomes of the investigation, and work to repair the harm using restorative practices. Here are resources available for staff and families to address anti-Blackness and racism.

At SFUSD, we teach about African American history and celebrate the accomplishments of African American leaders, inventors, authors, athletes, and others. We also teach our students about the painful experiences of African Americans in the past. And we know that students, families, staff, and the community continue to experience anti-Blackness today. We must do everything we can to disrupt this painful and persistent pattern and not continue to let history repeat itself. In unity, we will work with the African American community to address and repair the different ways that our students and families have experienced harm.

In addition to these recent anti-Black incidents this school year, there have also been instances of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-Asian racism, and LGBTQ discrimination in our schools. It is distressing that in a district that actively works to implement anti-racist practices, our community experiences such behavior. As an educational institution, it is our responsibility to use these incidents as a teaching opportunity for students to understand the impact of their actions. At the same time, we need to make it clear that such actions are unacceptable and assign consequences as appropriate. 

As a school district that champions diversity and social justice in our core values, we will always celebrate our differences, which unite us and make us the strong community that we are.


In Community,

Dr. Wayne


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