Sonoma County Office of Education

Statement from County Superintendent Steve Herrington on the George Floyd Killing

06/01/2020 -

Following is a message from County Superintendent Steve Herrington on the George Floyd killing and other recent tragedies:

Our nation and our community have recently been shaken by the senseless deaths of two black men: George Floyd in Minneapolis and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. While these tragedies took place in other states, people everywhere feel the injustice as if it had happened in their own community. At the same time, we see that people of color have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 because of systemic inequalities.

As an educator, I believe that every child should have access to the same opportunities and freedoms. That includes the freedom to go about your daily life without fear of discrimination, or unthinkably, death. It is heartbreaking to know that, for many children of color and their parents, this is not so.

Schools have an important role to play in building a better world for all children.

Fred Rogers said of children, “At the center of the universe is a loving heart that continues to beat and that wants the best for every person. Anything that we can do to help foster the intellect and spirit and emotional growth of our fellow human beings, that is our job.”

I believe in the truth of these words. SCOE will remain committed to fostering equity, empathy, and tolerance within local school communities and within each child through trainings and leadership that provide teachers and school administrators with the tools and awareness to build tolerant and understanding school communities. At the same time, we will continue to work with our school districts and community partners to address the root causes of inequality, from food insecurity to lack of access to healthcare and other basic resources. Together, let’s continue to strive for a more humane, just, and civil society.