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Superintendent’s Statement June 2, 2020

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Superintendent’s Statement June 2, 2020
Posted on 06/03/2020
As protests take place across the nation in reaction to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Superintendent Xavier Botana issued a statement to the Portland Board of Public Education and the community expressing his grief about this latest killing of an unarmed Black man and affirming the commitment of the Portland Public Schools to rooting out ongoing and systemic inequities in Portland’s public schools for non-white students.

Read the statement HERE or below: 



I would like to begin by expressing my deepest sorrow for the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week--the most recent of a long list of deaths of Black Americans at the hands of the institution that is in place to serve and protect us.  


Our Portland Promise equity goal commits us to rooting out ongoing and systemic inequities in the Portland Public Schools.  


As an organization, when we look at ourselves in the mirror, we see the same bias and injustice that led to the killing of Mr. Floyd and gave rise to the anger that motivates the protesters in Portland and beyond.  


Whether by looking at the achievement gaps between white and non-white students or the disparate impact of discipline on the same groups, Portland Public Schools has a great deal of work to do to redress these injustices.


Having been here for almost four years now, I am ashamed of the slow progress we have made on these issues. Goals are great, but our students and our community should expect more.


I would like to reaffirm that commitment and call on every member of the Portland Public Schools staff to do the same.  I want to make it clear that as an organization we believe that Black Lives matter especially those of our students and staff. 


I also call on other institutions in this city, state and country to that same examination of their practices in an effort to recognize unjust practices and proactively work to eliminate them.