Betty A. Rosa
New York State Board of Regents
Commissioner of Education
The State Education Department
The University of the State of New York / Albany, NY 12234
Office of Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 1, 2021
JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie
The Board of Regents and the State Education Department condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the abhorrent acts of bigotry, xenophobia and racism that are surging in New York and across the nation. Most recently, we have seen a spike in hateful rhetoric, violence, and even murder directed at Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. Throughout America’s history, people thought to be different or somehow “not quite American” have been subjected to discrimination, bias, vile rhetoric, and violence. We cannot continue to let history repeat itself.
As the state’s education officials, we strongly urge all educators to help students understand the harm caused by racism and bigotry. The dangers are mounting and we must all do more. The Board of Regents will soon outline the actions the State Education Department is taking, as well as the steps we expect schools to take, to help create learning communities that are more diverse, equitable and inclusive – steps that will advance a greater understanding and respect for all people. Now, it is vital that New York’s schools take the lead in helping their students look critically at the most recent incidents and at all hate-based violence they see around them and understand their role and responsibility as change agents.