April 20, 2021
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Issues Statement in Response to Chauvin Trial Verdict
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond issued the following statement in response to today’s guilty verdicts in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin:
“Today’s verdict is an important and long-overdue step for accountability, yet tremendous work remains if we want to truly eliminate the systemic racism that persists in all of our institutions—including public education—and which has denied students and communities justice for generations.
“It is also important to remember that despite today’s verdict, our students, educators, and families have experienced extraordinary trauma as they've struggled to make sense of this tragedy, the trial, and everything that transpired in between. I encourage all of our schools in the coming days to create space for open, honest dialogue for students and adults to process their emotions and use their voices to create lasting change.
“In the months since George Floyd’s brutal killing, I have pushed the California Department of Education and our state’s schools to harness this moment of reckoning and use the power of education to end all forms of hate, bigotry, bias, and racism. My team has helped schools identify alternatives to campus policing that better serve students while confronting the disproportionate suspensions and expulsions of Black and brown youth. And I launched an Education to End Hate Initiative that put grant money in the hands of schools so they can better train educators to advance racial justice.“Today is an opportunity to renew our commitment to ending systemic racism and using our power to level the playing field for all students.”
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100