Statement from Superintendent Arlotto Regarding Incidents in Wake of Death of George Floyd

Posted by Melvin Edwards on 6/4/2020

Over the last [few] days, we have been made aware of and are investigating reports of hate-filled, inappropriate and, in one case, racist online posts that appear to have been carried out by Anne Arundel County Public Schools students. I want to be perfectly clear: Hate-filled and bigoted acts that demean, intimidate, belittle, or castigate others have no place in our school system or our society.

While our school buildings may be closed, our school system remains in operation and our Code of Student Conduct remains in full effect. We will investigate, involving police where appropriate, any action – including bias-motivated behavior – that appears to violate that code and, if it has a connection to our schools or school system operations, impose disciplinary consequences to the greatest extent we are able.

The tragic, senseless, and inexplicable death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., earlier this week has sparked a furious flurry of emotions across the country and right here in Anne Arundel County. I stand firmly with our county’s elected officials and our police, health, civic, and faith-based leaders in denouncing it in the strongest possible terms.

The frustration and pain felt by so many is fully justified. However, we must channel those emotions toward the kindness, acceptance, and inclusion we all desire to see in each other and which we as a school system seek to impart to our students every day. Only by doing that can we build our communities up and not tear them down.

As a school system, we are charged with teaching our students the academic lessons they need to succeed. There are lessons, however, that the larger “we” – our society as a whole – must teach. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s statement that “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools” speaks volumes at a time like this.

We are in the midst of celebrating our seniors and the incredible accomplishments of the Class of 2020 and should not allow inappropriate, hate-filled online posts to negatively detract from this special time. We are a strong school system and part of an even stronger community. We must, however, rely on one another as we learn to live together and celebrate all that is good and purposeful.

We are #AACPSAwesome and undoubtedly #WeAreBetterTogether.