We are horrified by the attack in Washington, D.C. –as our elected representatives were engaged in the process of validating the electoral college results, rioters breached the Capitol and disrupted this seminal event. Below is an excerpt from the message CEO Dacia Toll, President Richard Buery, Jr. and Superintendent Stephanie Keenoy shared with our staff.
At this point, we have likely all seen the attack on democracy at the Capitol building yesterday. We are sitting with the horror, anger, grief and confusion at this unimaginable scene.
We watched knowing that we weren’t witnessing an isolated incident. We were watching the culmination of years of unrest sown by a president who has actively promoted white supremacy and undermined democratic norms and the rule of law. The violent, white rioters overwhelmed police barricades, threatened law enforcement officers and members of Congress, displayed nooses and Confederate flags, defaced public property, and then faced less force from the police than has been routinely deployed against non-violent Black Lives Matter protesters.
What happened today in Washington, D.C. is historic for all the wrong reasons.
And what happened in Georgia is historic for the right ones.
Voters in Georgia have transformed our democracy this year—electing the first Democratic Black Senator from the former Confederacy since Reconstruction and securing the election of the first woman, the first African-American, and the first Asian-American Vice President in our history. That the rioters in D.C. sought to undermine these facts does not detract from their historic achievement. And we are grateful that Congress proceeded with the electoral count last night.
These events are weighing heavily on all of us. We wrote our school leaders yesterday to give them flexibility today to make sure each of our communities has time to process what happened. As we have needed to do too many times this school year, we must continue to show up for our scholars and each other. The coming days and weeks are a time for us to come together in service of each other, our mission, and the future we will create together.