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Superintendent Response on Guilty Verdict in Derek Chauvin Case

Superintendent Response on Guilty Verdict in Derek Chauvin Case

Superintendent Brenda Cassellius 

True justice would mean George Floyd would still be alive today and that his family would not be suffering even as they embrace the guilty verdicts. But today, we can see a measure of justice in the courtroom in Minneapolis and new hope that we can all hold on to. Today’s verdict is a step toward healing the deeper wounds of racial inequality. 

The work to achieve equity neither begins nor ends with this news. It continues in our building systems that empower every child, expand opportunity, and dismantle the barriers that have kept our children from achieving their full potential for too long. Boston Public Schools is committed to this urgent work and to the ideals of justice and peace, as educators, as community members, and as Bostonians.



Superintendent Message to the BPS Community

April 23, 2021

Dear BPS Community,

When significant events happen in the world that we all are touched by, it is important that we connect as a community, support one another and reinforce our shared values. It is also important to talk to our children about these events and that we are open and honest with them as they grapple with the images, words, and multiple viewpoints shared on media platforms. 

So, I start with a message to our students. You are strong and resilient. We know because you’ve persevered through this tough year. You are creative and worthy. This week’s verdict will surely lead to a better world for all of you. The struggle for equality, fairness and justice doesn’t end with this verdict and you all will carry on the torch of determination so that hopefully one day, during your lifetime, these senseless acts of violence will stop.

As we all awaited the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, we knew and felt the significance and importance of this moment for our country and for Black people who have been denied justice in similar cases for too long. 

The guilty verdicts were one more step in the long fought battle towards progress for equal justice. For centuries, Black women and men’s lives have been taken without accountability. While the only real justice would be having George Floyd still alive, the verdict was a long overdue affirmation and an historical moment in our nation. 

For me personally, as I spoke with members of my family in my home state of Minnesota, I felt relief, grief, and renewed determination. While I make Boston my home, I have been sad watching my home city lose its way. But, I am hopeful that so many had the courage to speak out against this horrible murder that caused us all to pause one year ago, including his fellow officers and emergency personnel. This is what we all need to do when we see injustice. We need to stand up and speak out. We must do what we would want others to do for us. We must turn from being bystanders to allies and activists for each other, for our shared humanity. 

This verdict will not bring back George Floyd or countless others, and incarcerating this one man will not, by itself, end interpersonal or institutional racism. We have tremendous work to do right here in our school district to ensure that our young people study culturally affirming and accurate history, including ethnic studies; our students, caregivers, and employees become increasingly knowledgeable about the current realities of racism; that we may collectively apply an anti-racist lens to transform nearly every aspect of what we do, as we work toward our vision of being a nation-leading district that closes opportunity gaps for all students.

As students, parents and guardians, educators, and other BPS staff, we will each process this news in different ways. I encourage each of you to take the time you need to reflect, share your feelings with others around you, and think about how to mark this moment in a manner that works best for you.

The resources shared below are the result of multiple departments working together to ensure each of us has the opportunity to access what we need at this time.

Resources for students:

Resources for families:

Resources for staff:

Resources for everyone:

As we prepare to welcome students back to learning after the spring recess, we will continue to make these resources available, along with others previously shared related to anti-Asian and anti-immigrant harassment and violence, and recovery from the devastating impacts of Covid. We have a long road of restoration and action toward justice ahead of us, and I am grateful that we will support one another as a community of healing and learning every step of the way.


Dr. Brenda Cassellius


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