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Statement from West Hartford Board of Education

West Hartford Board of Education Chair Deb Polun reads a statement at the Jan. 19, 2021 virtual meeting. Screenshot

West Hartford Board of Education Chair Deb Polun and Vice Chair Lorna Thomas-Farquharson read the following statement, endorsed by all elected members, at the Jan. 19, 2021 meeting.

To the youth, parents, caregivers, educators, and residents of West Hartford, we are speaking to you recognizing all that has occurred and you have been exposed to most recently in our country.

Our collective responsibility as Board of Education members, among other things, is to establish policies and ensure they are being followed.However, it is our charge to promote and protect the healthy social, emotional, and academic development of our youth. In doing so, we cannot expect our youth to operate in silos of existence.

We cannot expect our youth to un-know what they know is happening around them, or unsee what they’ve seen.What we can expect from our youth is for them to trust that we as a collective body are invested in each and every one of them.

What we can expect from our youth is for them to know that we are committed to promoting an equitable educational environment that helps them develop into strong minded and resilient people with potential beyond measure for a successful future.This especially holds true when faced with anticipated and unforeseen challenges. This is what our youth deserve and it is their right.

The West Hartford Public School System speaks about Clear Paths.Bright Futures.No limits.We stand by this.We mean what we say, and say what we mean … no exceptions.

Part of our role is to educate our youth and their families about civic engagement.And for Board of Education issues, we encourage people to comment at the beginning and end of Board meetings, to email us or contact us by mail or phone. That is how we encourage our youth, their families, and our community to share their ideas and questions with us – and to use similar processes for other governing bodies.

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