Walla Walla Public Schools Faculty, Students and Stakeholders,
As we watch our country continue to wrestle deeply with the challenges surrounding race, freedoms and civil rights, it serves a bellwether as to how far we still have to grow as a nation with respect to these matters. Nearly three years ago we found ourselves in a different, albeit analogous situation, as we wrestled with the immigration status and rising discriminatory acts towards those living within our communities. As I reflected back on my comments at the time, it is striking and bothersome to realize they still resonate today.
As I remarked three years ago, our district stands firm in educating ALL students in an environment where racism and injustice are not tolerated. We are an accepting and compassionate district. Through our collective beliefs and actions, we continue to live and model our values. Walla Walla Public Schools is a place where diversity of skin color, culture, religion, sexual orientation, abilities, and ethnicity, are honored and respected in a civil, safe and compassionate manner.
Diversity in Walla Walla Public Schools is a remarkable asset, one that provides a rich and glorious tapestry in the fabric of our local educational program. As such, it has been acknowledged and formally adopted by our district as one of our core beliefs and continues to inform and guide our daily actions and decisions. Diversity is our strength.
To help codify this important belief structure into action, we developed our "We All Belong Here" campaign three years ago (https://www.wwps.org/departments/equity-and-dual-programs/we-all-belong-here). By striving for inclusivity, rising above intolerance, respecting everyone every day, and standing up to injustice, we help ensure a school environment free of prejudice, racism and bigotry. Actions and behaviors, by staff, students, or community members within our school system that do not adhere to these high standards will not be tolerated and will be swiftly addressed.
Our district’s primary focus has always been, and will continue to be student safety and well-being while at school. This can only be realized when we live these values. Together we can ensure a safe and respectful learning environment that guarantees all students, regardless of skin color or other factors, are guaranteed the opportunity to develop into “Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates.”
I would encourage you to visit our website to learn more about our We All Belong Here efforts: https://www.wwps.org/departments/equity-and-dual-programs/we-all-belong-here
Dr. Wade Smith
Superintendent of Schools