Supe’s Message on Minnesota Verdict

Supe’s Message on Minnesota Verdict

Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Superintendent Pasquale Scuderi penned this piece in response to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial on April 20.

Dear AUSD families:

Today’s guilty verdicts in Derek Chauvin’s trial do carry some broader measures of hope for justice. Yet let us not forget that George Floyd’s siblings tonight are still without a brother, and his children's are still without a father. All for reasons that were maddeningly preventable and avoidable — yet sadly not exclusive to this situation.

We must prepare ourselves for conversations with our students and with each other. Those conversations can acknowledge the importance of this particular moment relative to the global proposition of fair justice, but they should not avoid the cumulative and harsh history that makes this moment and the work that remains significant .

Scholar Andre Perry notes that “the institutions meant to translate grievances into laws and publics services have repeatedly failed black people in crucial ways” and that the “shameless, extrajudicial murder of George Floyd under the custody of four police officers” is one of the latest examples of unjust, unfair, and too often lethal policies and practices that have plagued black people and black communities in this country for hundreds of years.

Our students, and our children in general, will be better off and make better contributions toward progress if we thoughtfully and honestly educate them to understand the way that racism, and racially motivated crimes like this one, have afflicted our cultural past and present.

As educators and parents, even in these difficult times, we must continue to commit and find purpose and action in the task of helping our students grow to be responsible, aware, and active citizens.

We have seen how powerfully and passionately they can advocate on behalf of themselves and others, and we must continue to nurture strength, empathy, awareness, understanding and respect within and around our classrooms, our curricula, and our homes as antidotes to the racialized indifference to pain and black life that we have witnessed in Minneapolis and elsewhere.

Our team and your school site leaders will be working to provide some resources for discussions and learning as we navigate this situation and our obligation to educate and enlighten and improve together.

Thank you in advance for taking care of our students.

----- Pasquale Scuderi
AUSD Superintendent