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Grinnell-Newburg CSD

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District Statement: We must do better

Dear Grinnell Staff, Families, and Friends:

More than half a century ago, Black Americans, putting their lives on the line, pushed our country to be better, to work toward an America where they enjoy the same rights as white citizens. Today, as we look around, demonstrations across the country calling for racial equality make it very clear that Black Americans are experiencing the very same pain that motivated earlier generations to lead a multiracial movement for an America that embodies ideals we hold.

Sometimes in Grinnell, a community where we celebrate being good neighbors, and pride ourselves on looking out for each other, it can feel like we live apart from problems that people in other parts of the country are experiencing. However, people right here in Grinnell have experienced and are experiencing the same pain as Americans across the country. This is not okay. It’s not okay when Black students in our district feel pain as a result of experiences they have at school. Our public school buildings must feel like home for everyone.

Our schools must also prepare all students to live in our racially diverse United States. I have heard from numerous graduates of our district over the past couple of weeks that they are unprepared to understand what we see unfolding as a country. This is not okay. We must do better.

Earlier this week, we were honored to gather a small group of people from across our community—teachers, elected officials, business leaders, parents, students—to brainstorm together and to create partnerships that will help us move forward. In the coming weeks, this small group will grow larger, leading to initiatives in the curriculum, district training, and community-wide social engagement. We are excited about sharing plans with you as they develop.

Change will not happen overnight. But we will change and grow together. We must do this as one community.

Sincerely, 

The Grinnell-Newburg Board of Directors
Dr. Janet M. Stutz, Superintendent