I tend to keep a low profile and try to be a peacemaker. But as I stated before the Senate Education Committee in April, this mother also has plenty of anger to spread around. I have watched almost every state and local meeting, read every report and news story, listened carefully to people on all sides, and testified and provided comments to the State Board of Education, the state legislature, and the Community Advisory Board on a range of issues affecting the Little Rock School District over the past five years. The lack of trust in the state, the city, and the district has created a level of chronic stress in teachers and families that is now affecting the children we all agree we want to help. The toxic political environment and infighting by allies have had a direct impact on my own health and family. And now I am at a loss about what help to offer, besides hope for healing.
So here is where my heart is today:
LRSD educators who feel you have no choice but to strike today: I support you.
LRSD educators who feel you have no choice but to work today: I support you.
LRSD parents who choose to keep your children home from school today: I support you.
LRSD parents who choose to send your children to school today or feel you have no choice not to: I support you. It does not mean you do not support teachers too.
Parents and educators who feel you have had no choice but to leave LRSD and do whatever is best for you or your child: I support you. It does not mean you do not support LRSD teachers and students too.
This community has been put in an impossible situation. How we treat one another now in front of children will determine our fate.
May the broken spirits of our schools and community be healed.