Message from the Superintendent - March 18, 2021

March 18, 2021

Dear Shrewsbury Families, Colleagues, & Community Members,

The tragic murders that occurred in Atlanta this week, where six of the eight victims were of Asian origin, have brought the issue of ongoing incidents of racial discrimination against Asians and Asian-Americans over the past year to the forefront of the national news.  Even before these heinous killings, the national news has included multiple stories about the rise of incidents of discrimination, harassment, and hate crimes targeting Asians and Asian-Americans, which are attributed in large part to misguided attribution of blame for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Shrewsbury community has become much more diverse over the past two decades, mainly due to the increase in Asian and Asian-American residents.  One-third of the students we serve in our schools identify as Asian, and our schools have benefited greatly from the inclusion of our students and families who come from many Asian cultures.  However, as part of American society, Shrewsbury is not immune from the insidious impact of bias and racism, and Asian and Asian-American students and families in our community have experienced these things.

As our community and our schools continue the important work of advancing equity and anti-racism, it is crucial that all of us stand with and support our Asian and Asian-American students, families, and colleagues.  Anyone who becomes aware of mistreatment of anyone in our school community due to their race, ethnicity, or any other element of their identity should report it to a teacher or school administrator, so that appropriate action can be taken to support those affected and address the behavior.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your school principal or to me if you have concerns of this nature.

I look forward to the continued work ahead as our schools strive to provide an education that helps eradicate prejudice and racism in order to move ever closer to our district's core values and the American ideal of equality.


Joe Sawyer
Superintendent of Schools

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