The following statement was issued by SPFE officers yesterday:
As SPFE members are aware, last week’s shootings in Atlanta targeted Asian American workers and were a result of racist and xenophobic rhetoric that plagues our nation. And as we saw in the news, St. Paul has had incidences of racial violence directed at our Asian families recently as well. While this may be getting more attention at this time, it is not new, and it cannot be tolerated. In a district where Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) students are the largest racial group that we have the honor of serving, we cannot tolerate this behavior and we must stand with the AAPI community here in Minnesota and in our country. All members of our community deserve to feel safe in their schools, neighborhoods and workplaces.
We also know that these acts of racial violence are occurring at the same time our community is processing the murder of George Floyd and the start of the Chauvin trial, as well as the violence of another form that is occurring along the southern border to people just trying to find a better life for their family.
We know that our students, who are primarily BIPOC and experiencing the trauma of these events at a higher level than most of the educators they see every day, need us to be ever sensitive to their needs at this time. They need to know that we have taken time to personally reflect on these events and what they mean to us as individual educators. They need to know that their white educators are not just their teachers and coaches and aides, but their allies for racial justice in our schools and communities.
To that end, SPFE will be opening spaces where members can share resources, process thoughts and feelings, and most importantly—to act. Thank you to those members who have reached out to share resources and to lead in this work already. This is important work. This is union work.