Camas, WA — Camas Superintendent Dr. Jeff Snell released this statement Friday about local solidarity with the Asian and Pacific Islander community.
Dear Camas Community,
We are devastated by the heinous attacks targeting Asian Americans including the murders that took place on Tuesday in Atlanta. We want every member of our Asian and Pacific Islander community to know we see you; we mourn and stand with you. We remain committed to lifting up the voices of Asian American students and families as they combat this wave of violence and all acts of racism. We know six of the total eight victims are women of Asian descent. We only know four of the names of victims so far: Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng.
Chung Ho, Juanito Falcon, Yong Zheng, Vicha Ratanapakdee, Christian Hall, Angelo Quinto, and others have also lost their lives in the last three months because of racist hate that our country and community has far too often allowed to fester.
We continue to witness and experience acts of violence and harassment toward marginalized groups across this country and locally. This is why we will not relent in our pursuit of equity and social justice. We must continue to uproot and condemn all racist, xenophobic, and other hate-based behaviors. Each and every person deserves the right to exist, learn and thrive in our community.
We will continue to support our students in discussing and learning from what they are seeing and experiencing. Our state education agency makes the following commitment in their Reopening Washington Schools publication: “The impacts of fear, hatred, and systemic and structural racism within institutions cannot be ignored, and they yield tragic outcomes. Washington’s public education system must engage in anti-racist capacity building, leadership, and resource allocation. Dismantling systemically racist structures will make progress on inclusivity and will better serve students of color, students with disabilities, students who are English learners, students who are migratory, students experiencing homelessness, students in foster care, students experiencing intergenerational poverty, and students who identify as LGBTQ+.”
In the Camas School District, we will continue to amplify this commitment through our policies, resolutions, and practices.
Our students and staff should know that in our schools, in our hallways, and in our community, it is a shared responsibility to call out injustice and racism. We will continue to stand up for equity in learning and teaching and work towards accepting and understanding the differences that contribute to our rich tapestry of community. This work has never been more important than it is now and in Camas, we will continue to support one another and stand up for what’s right and against injustice, inequality, and all forms of systemic racism.
To learn more on how you can stand in action, visit stopaapihate.org. Join us at our next Community Equity Forum on April 14, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM as we engage in conversation around how to support our AAPI students and families.
Jeff Snell, Superintendent