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Statement from West Hartford Board of Education Chairperson about Inclusiveness

Mark Overmyer-Velazquez. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

West Hartford Board of Education Chairperson Dr. Mark Overmyer-Velázquez delivered the following statement at the board’s meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017.

Mark Overmyer-Velazquez. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Mark Overmyer-Velazquez. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Two things happened last week that made us reconsider who we are and how we define ourselves as a community.

On top of earlier anti-immigrant statements, the White House issued a travel ban aimed at excluding refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. In that same week, over 1,000 West Hartford residents rallied and stood together to reject those executive orders. They demonstrated that in West Hartford we are a community of inclusion and compassion that welcomes everyone: white, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, immigrant, refugee, gay, trans, Latino, black, all of us!

As Mayor Shari Cantor stated about our town, in West Hartford public schools, we start by reassuring our students that we support them, their families and their way of life.

We have a constitutional and legal right to protect them in the schools and it is our mission to give them the opportunity to succeed and thrive in their education.

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