The folllowing statement was released to the school community on June 1 addressing the killing of George Floyd and nationwide protests that have followed.
Dear Bay Ridge Prep Community,
We are deeply saddened by the unjustified killing of George Floyd, a human being caught in the crossfire of ignorance and racism. As a school, we stand unequivocally in solidarity with the calls for justice for George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the thousands of other Black Americans who have been unjustly killed. Once again, we are reminded of the many sad realities that people of color still face in our country and these recent events have sparked nationwide protests in response to the continued, systemic racism that is sewed into our nation’s history.
As educators, we are committed to anti-bias education in the pursuit of greater justice in our immediate and global community. The headlines today remind us of the importance of these discussions as an integral component of our curriculum, both now and in the years ahead. We are dedicated to helping our students develop the awareness and the skills they will need to truly make a difference in our world. We know that there is more that we have to do as a school, just as there is more we have to do as a society, to continue progress toward justice and equity for all.
Classes in each division spent time today speaking about these events and the history of racism in America. Lower School classes in Grades 2-5 discussed the roles of marches and protests in our society and individual teachers shared highlights of these talks to help families continue these difficult conversations. Middle School classes are devoting time this week to discuss recent events and to apply what they have already learned about the longstanding issues of racism in America. At the Upper School level, in addition to devoting class time, students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to process and discuss this together during Tuesday afternoon’s Upper School community time period.
Bay Ridge Prep embraces social justice and aims to uphold a culture of compassion, communication, inclusion, and accountability. These ideals from our statement on diversity, equity and inclusion are central to our educational mission and this work deserves our attention every day. As a school community, we accept the urgent importance of this responsibility. To help everyone in our community respond to these challenges, we have included some resources that may help you in your conversations at home. The conversations will continue at school and we will continue to stand in solidarity with those advocating for an end to racial inequity.
Charles Fasano & Michael Dealy
Heads of School
Additional Resources (with extensive lists):