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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #17-57
August 24, 2017
Contact: Robert Oakes
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Releases Letter Denouncing Racism and Encourages Schools to Celebrate Diversity

SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today sent a letter to California school leaders denouncing racism and encouraging schools to celebrate diversity as the new school year begins.

The letter went to county and district school superintendents and charter schools administrators at more than 1,025 school districts statewide—the nation’s largest public school system.

“I want to let all California educators, students and their families know that I reject the hatred, racism, and violence so sadly displayed earlier this month in Charlottesville,” Torlakson said.

“Hateful rhetoric and disgusting, failed ideologies should stay buried in the dustbins of history. We need to join together as Americans and denounce all who preach hate instead of the love, acceptance, and understanding that should define our 21st century.

“We must remind California’s school community and our nation that our great state respects, celebrates, and embraces our incredibly diverse population. We denounce religious intolerance, racism, and any and all forms of discrimination.”

Torlakson spoke Wednesday at a preview of the new Unity Center at the California Museum in Sacramento and at a State Capitol forum about teaching tolerance.

Torlakson’s letter encouraged educators to review a recent “Moving Forward from Charlottesville” blog posting from the Learning Policy Institute External link opens in new window or tab. that includes educational resources for students and teachers.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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