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All In blog by MCPS Superintendent Dr. Jack R. Smith

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All In: A Call for Justice and Equality

For several weeks, I’ve been writing about how we are “all in this together" as we continue to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is another crisis in our country that I must address now. It’s a crisis of justice and equality that we are all facing and, while we are all in it together, we are not experiencing this crisis in the same way—not even close.

The recent events in New York, Minneapolis, Georgia, Kentucky and other places are not new to our society, but they have once again forced us to see the pervasive injustice, inequality and hate that African Americans face every day in our communities. Events like these impact us and our society as a whole but, depending on our race, we do not experience them in the same way.

I cannot refuse to understand the problem or feign confusion about the issues. These events do not affect my family and me in the same way as they affect my dear friend and colleague, Henry, when he sits and watches the television and sees the stories unfold with his son and grandson. These events do not impact me in the same way as they do my dear friend and colleague, Linda, as she talks to her daughter and looks with joy and anxiety at her two young grandchildren as they grow up in this country as African Americans.

Our more than 165,000 students do not experience these events in the same way. They aren’t affected in the same way by these events. I am heartsick because I know that our students of color, particularly African-American students, have real fear and deep anxiety. They fear for family members, friends and for themselves, and that fear drives intense anger.

This must change. We must work harder to achieve a better, more equitable and just society for our children, for our families and for ourselves. We cannot stand idly by while members of our communities suffer injustices and live in fear. If we are all in this together, we must all take responsibility and do our part.

Montgomery County Public Schools

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Montgomery County Public Schools
850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, MD, 20850
Call: 240-740-3000 | Spanish Hotline: 240-740-2845