Statement on the Death of George Floyd and Racial Protests
Robert Hull, NASBE’s president and CEO, with the board of directors issued the following statement on the death of George Floyd and the protests and social unrest gripping our nation:
The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) stands resolutely against all acts of racism and racist violence. In the wake of the violent death of George Floyd in Minnesota and the subsequent protests that have in places turned to violence, we are reminded of the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear?” We feel the angst of the nation as we collectively struggle with racism and intolerance, and we commit to working with all partners to listen intently to those seeking to be heard as we ensure that young people of color are valued and safe both in school and in the community.
NASBE’s core mission and values are based on equity and excellence. Our organization supports state leaders as they relentlessly pursue equity and excellence in our public education system and as they serve children of all race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or disability status. The futures of these students, whose schools have not always met their needs, rests with us and the decisions we make. The social unrest and political upheaval gripping our nation must renew our resolve to act against the systemic, persistent plague of bias and racial injustice that our young people face.
Children begin their lives without hatred and bigotry, and we uphold the public’s trust by fostering tolerance and respectful civic discourse among our students when they enter our schools. We denounce expressions of hate and intolerance in school and out of school. We believe in the ability of our public education system to uplift a citizenry of diverse ideas founded on a common ideal—that we are all created equal. We have seen decency and greatness in our teachers and school leaders, as they challenge inequities and celebrate all students. They leave an indelible mark on the lives of students and honor our great nation’s fundamental values.
NASBE serves as the only membership organization for state boards of education. A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, NASBE elevates state board members’ voices in national and state policymaking, facilitates the exchange of informed ideas, and supports members in advancing equity and excellence in public education for students of all races, genders, and circumstances. Learn more at www.nasbe.org