Message from Our Superintendent
While several days have passed, I take no comfort in knowing that the devastating event that occurred on March 16, 2021, has dramatically impacted our world, our country and, specifically, our Kent School District community. Last Tuesday, in fact, marked a series of shootings in the Atlanta metropolitan area that killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women. My heart breaks for the families of those whose lives were taken from them. And while we all share the pain that each of their loved ones must be feeling, I fully recognize that some members of our community have been impacted more deeply. For this reason, I denounce and condemn the despicable acts of racism, violence, and the most recent hate crimes against members of our Asian Pacific American community, which are rising in frequency in our country.
It is true that Kent School District is home to 26,000 students (22% of whom identify as Asian), and nearly 3,600 employees (8% of whom identify as Asian). It is also true that According to niche.com (2020-2021), Kent School District is the second most diverse school district in Washington State and the seventh most diverse school district in the nation. To our Asian Pacific American students, staff members, and families, and on behalf of our Board of Directors, I want you to know that we love you, we acknowledge you, we hear you, and we stand in solidarity with you.
Over the past five and a half years, we have engaged members of our entire KSD community to continue embracing diversity, racial equity, inclusion and belonging. Our Race and Equity Policy was adopted by our KSD Board of Directors in 2017, for the purpose of governing how we address the needs of our entire community. The beliefs that we hold, the words that we speak, and the actions that we take, all represent how, and to what degree we are willing to become the very best version of ourselves. To this end, each and every member of Team KSD must remain committed to leading with empathy, equity, and love as we embrace our Asian Pacific American community, both now and beyond this most challenging time.
Please view Racist Anti-Asian Hate Reporting Resources.
In partnership and service,
Dr. Calvin J. Watts
Kent School District Superintendent