November 15, 2016
We recently learned that after Tuesday's election students in our public schools committed certain unacceptable acts targeting members of our wonderful Latino community. Those acts included taunting classmates that were Latinos by saying they will all have to go back to Mexico at the elementary-school level and wearing Donald Trump campaign hats while taunting at the high-school level.
This community should not tolerate this. This community is better than that.
The 2016 Presidential election was the most divisive political contest in our lifetimes and has left tens of millions of Americans feeling a wide variety of emotions, from elation and hope for some, to anger, despair and fear for others. The most troubling divides were not centered on traditional policy issues; instead they go to the very heart of our most sensitive community issues including race, gender, religion, and our basic sense of community and belonging.
Because of the racial issues that are inevitably bound in the issue of immigration and inflammatory statements about Mexican and other immigrants, Latinos in our community are experiencing fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Those emotions should not be exploited by any member of our community and we encourage and will support the school districts' adoption and enforcement of strong policies to address bullying against any individual or group, particularly against our community's children.
The election is behind us and so should the terribly destructive rhetoric that drove both historically negative campaigns. We are all residents of Summit County and, regardless of race, religion, gender or who we choose to love, we all have similar fundamental hopes and goals for our community — economic and physical health and security, clean air and water and reasonable opportunities for our children to thrive and succeed. It is incumbent upon all of us, to set an example for our children, to come together as a community and respect the different emotions that we are all feeling.
This is a teaching moment, not just in our schools, but throughout our community and, most importantly, in our own homes. Let's teach our children to honor and embrace values that will make us stronger and more inclusive. Let's all be good to each other and move forward as a community.