June 3, 2020
Dear Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School Community,
Our community is experiencing great sadness and anger in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing protests and riots. Racism continues to tear at the very fabric of our nation and as I write this, our neighborhood, the Fruitvale District in Oakland, is experiencing unrest and violence. Our staff, students and families are hurting, and we are desperate for answers. At times it might feel easier to just give up. However, we cannot allow hatred or fear to win. We must remain steadfast in our Lasallian principle of concern for the poor and social justice, and we must stand together in love. We are called to a different path because we are entrusted with the care of our students. We must keep our focus. Our students’ well-being is our North Star.
100% of our students identify as people of color. We hear their cries of pain and frustration and will not tolerate the sin of injustice in any of its forms, nor will we be complacent in its presence. We will make great change by instilling zeal in our students’ hearts. Teaching, learning and praying in community are what we do best. Covid-19 is complicating the unrest. Without shelter-in-place we would be able to offer our students in-person instruction which would greatly facilitate every form of healing. However, this cannot be an excuse to fail. As our Brother Visitor, Brother Donald so eloquently states:
We must find innovative ways to join our students in an intentional and courageous dialogue about race, one that identifies and stands against bigotry and discrimination, advances solidarity with its victims, and leads to action to transform unjust social structures. We have a sacred responsibility to do this.Brother Donald, Visitor, Lasallian District of San Francisco New Orleans
Therefore, as a community,
- We are reaching out to each family. We have shared multiple messages, offering our support, guidance and prayers.
- Our wholeness department is offering daily check-ins with students.
- We are providing support and resources to our faculty and staff.
- We are holding a prayer service via Zoom at 12:20pm on Friday, June 5th for all members of our community. All students and families were emailed information on how to join. If you are interested in joining us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to join. Thank you.
Difficult times demand an intentional and courageous response. We will respond courageously by doing what we do best, caring for the students whose academic, emotional and spiritual health is entrusted to us.
Please know that our community is in our prayers. Do not hesitate to reach out to our team if you have any questions or concerns.
President, Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School