Dear El Monte Union Community:

We are in the midst of one of the most challenging times in our country’s history. Not only are we living through a worldwide pandemic, but we are now also witnessing momentous civil unrest across the country due to the systemic mistreatment of African Americans in the United States and the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police officers.

It is important now more than ever that our learning community practices compassion and collaboration as we overcome the challenges of a global health crisis and enduring patterns of systemic injustice.

Our schools and communities should be safe havens where all children are respected and nurtured, where discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated, and where all can thrive in an environment that fosters equity and justice.

I want our community to know that at El Monte Union, we are committed to ensuring all students and staff feel that they are safe, seen and heard, that they belong and are respected, and are valued, capable, and accepted regardless of race, gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, or any other aspect of their identity.

We commend our students and staff for their civic participation and fully support their right to freedom of expression in an effort to bring about meaningful change against racial inequality and injustice. Your engagement is a reflection of our school community and I ask you to lead by example and follow the model of respect and empathy. We want to remind all of our students about our anonymous bullying reporting page, as well as board policies that support expression and protect students from unjustifiable acts:

Freedom of Speech

Nondiscrimination/Harassment

Sexual Harassment

Hate-Motivated Behavior

Bullying

Positive School Climate

As we process what we are seeing and hearing every day on television and social media, I understand just how important it is to provide our students and families the emotional support they need. Comprehensive mental health and crisis support resources and information for students and families are available (on our website). We also encourage families to have open discussions to process their thoughts.

Thank you for joining me in working together to support equity for all students and fostering a positive school community – one that is proud to be a part of the change.

Sincerely,

Dr. Edward Zuniga

Superintendent