Head of School Statement Regarding the Killing of George Floyd
Head of School Bob Izzo's Statement Regarding the Killing of George Floyd
June 1, 2020
Dear Faculty and Upper School Students:
It has been a week since the killing of George Floyd. While Floyd’s death is the most recent tragedy befallen an African American citizen, we cannot forget the recent and needless killings of Ahmaud Arbery by a neighbor while he was jogging in the street, or Breonna Taylor while she was in her own home. These killings are tragic examples of what black and brown people in our country face every day.
To all of our community members who are worried or scared for their own safety, please know that you have the support of Hamden Hall. We talk at Hamden Hall about the need to speak up or take a stand when we see or hear something that violates one of our core values. We talk about being an ally not a bystander. This is the time for every one of us to stop and think about what happened to George Floyd. Every one of us must take a stand against racism, violence against people of color, and white supremacy.
Countless hardworking police officers in our country do good work every day. However, it is incomprehensible how three police officers stood by and watched the action taken against George Floyd that ultimately led to his death. Clearly, systemic racism still exists. To deny this fact is to ignore the obvious. It has been going on for a long time. One must go back in our country’s history to understand the societal forces that have brought us to the present day. We must understand the challenges that people of color, and more specifically, African Americans, face every day.
I realize this tragedy comes during a very difficult time for all of us. The global pandemic has robbed our community’s ability to come together in person to talk about the injustice of George Floyd’s death. However, as a community we must find ways to talk about human rights and equality even if it occurs in a virtual setting. I have asked John Greenawalt, Kim Porto, Krysi Crimley, and Yasmin Haque to organize a Zoom Meeting for anyone who wants to participate in a discussion about what our community can do proactively to address social justice issues. I am proud of our school’s previous commitment to social justice but we can and should do more.
While I cannot fully understand the pain and sadness of our African American community members, I know that I speak for every member of our school’s administration and faculty by stating that we stand with you. We have an obligation to make our local and global communities an equal and safe place to live. And we have an obligation to start that conversation right here at Hamden Hall in whatever format is necessary.
Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.