April 20, 2021
Good afternoon Roseville Area Schools community,
This afternoon, a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on three counts in the murder of George Floyd. The tension felt in Minnesota these last few weeks has been unlike anything I’ve experienced, and while today’s decision may be met with a sense of relief by some, the issues of racial injustice will not go away because of this conviction.
The response to the verdict may trigger strong emotions in students and in people throughout the community. For younger learners, processing these events can be confusing and difficult. If students need support in making sense of their emotions, school staff will be available to provide safe spaces for further conversation as needed.
The safety and well-being of our students is our most important responsibility. We have provided our staff with resources they can use to help students navigate this time. We also understand that we don’t have all of the answers. But we are committed to listening to each student, supporting them in their learning and social-emotional development, and providing a safe, respectful environment. Our staff members serve as another positive adult in the lives of the youth in our community, and the strong, positive relationships we develop with our students serve as a foundation for all that we do.
We do not know what will happen in the days or weeks ahead, but we stand in solidarity with the interests of our students at the fore. As we watched the trial over these last three weeks, we were again forced to deal with the death of people of color—Daunte Wright and 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago—at the hands of police. The trauma of these events is not diminished by today’s decision. We encourage all parents/guardians to talk with your student(s) about how they may be feeling about the verdict and the importance of expressing themselves in appropriate ways. The resources compiled by the Minnesota Department of Education may be helpful for families in talking about racism, violence and trauma.