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After Charlottesville: Schools Are Safe Spaces

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Letter from Education Leaders in DC

August 22, 2017

To Our DC Community,

We are extremely excited about the back to school season! Schools are places where our students grow as individuals – where they learn more about themselves, how to relate to others, and important lessons about our nation.

We also recognize that the events in Charlottesville, Virginia have stirred strong emotions in our District and nationwide. It is difficult to watch these horrific events unfold mere hours away from where we live. Over the past week, we’ve heard concerns and fears from residents of all ages, races, and backgrounds, fears that are justified by simply watching local news or listening to your local radio station. We, like many others, are frustrated by the race-based hatred we see in our country. As DC education leaders, we are writing today to affirm that we are unequivocally committed to protecting our schools and our young people from hatred.

Let us be clear: All public schools in DC are safe places not just for students, but also for parents, families, educators, staff, and community members. Our schools are places of inclusion that value diversity in all its forms, including race, ethnic background, religion, immigration status, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, language, and family’s income level. The diversity throughout the city doesn’t just make us stronger – it is something to celebrate.

As educators, it is not only our responsibility to develop students academically, but also to help them grapple with the world around them. It is our hope that we can use these events to have deep and productive conversations about inclusion and respect so that everyone in our schools feels loved, valued, and supported.

We stand in solidarity, as one city of educators, against the idea that any human being is less valuable because of the color of their skin, the language they speak, the religion they practice, or any other aspect of their identity. As we move forward, we know that you will help us ensure that our schools are welcoming and supportive environments to all who enter our doors. No matter who you are, you are safe with us.


Muriel Bowser

Mayor, District of Columbia

Jennifer Niles

Deputy Mayor for Education

Antwan Wilson

Chancellor, DC Public Schools

Darren Woodruff

Board Chair, Public Charter School Board

Scott Pearson

Executive Director, Public Charter School Board

Hanseul Kang

State Superintendent, Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Cosigned by:

Lecester Johnson

Academy of Hope Adult PCS

Shantelle Wright

Achievement Preparatory Academy Public Charter Schools

Malaika Golden

Aiton Elementary School

TaMikka Sykes

Amidon-Bowen Elementary School

Eric Fraser

Anacostia Senior High School

Anne Zummo Malone

AppleTree Early Learning PCS

Dr. Yetunde Reeves

Ballou High School

Cara Fuller

Ballou STAY High School

Arthur Mola

Bancroft Elementary School

Grace. A. Reid

Barnard Elementary

DeAnna Rowe


Gwendolyn Payton

Beers Elementary School

Anita M. Berger

Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

Keith Whitescarver

Breakthrough Montessori PCS

Norah Lycknell

Brent Elementary

Olivia Smith

Bridges PCS

Maurice Kennard

Brightwood Education Campus

Christie McKay

Briya PCS

Kerry Richardson

Brookland Middle School

Dwight Davis

Browne Education Campus

Alethea Bustillo

Bruce-Monroe Elementary School @ Park View

Kara Kuchemba

Bunker Hill Elementary School

LeVar Jenkins

Burroughs Elementary School

Tui Roper

Burrville Elementary School

Heather Hairston

C.W. Harris Elementary School

Karen Dresden

Capital City PCS

Brandon Eatman

Capitol Hill Montessori School

Tanya S. Roane

Cardozo Education Campus

Allison Kokkoros

Carlos Rosario International PCS

LaTonya Henderson, Ed.D

Cedar Tree Academy PCS

Russ E. Williams Jr.

Center City Public Charter Schools

Emily E. Silberstein

Chavez Schools

Lanette Dailey-Reese

City Arts & Prep PCS

Anna Krughoff

Cleveland Elementary School

Maria Tukeva

Columbia Heights Education Campus

Connie Spinner

Community College Preparatory Academy PCS

Semanthe Bright

Coolidge High School

Golnar Abedin

Creative Minds International PCS

Daniela Anello

DC Bilingual PCS

Mary Shaffner

DC International School

Emily Lawson

DC Prep Public Charter Schools

Avise Hayes

DC Prep PCS - Edgewood Elementary

Rachel McClam

DC Prep PCS - Edgewood Middle

Maura Englender

DC Prep PCS - Benning Elementary

Erin Waldron

DC Prep PCS - Benning Middle

Maria-Teresa Duvall

DC Prep PCS - Anacostia Elementary

Jennifer G. Leonard

DC Scholars PCS

Diedre L. Neal

Deal Middle School

Shukurat Adamoh-Faniyan

Democracy Prep Congress Heights PCS

Masi Preston

Dorothy I. Height Elementary School

Naimah Salahuddin

Drew Elementary School

Sandi Logan

Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Abdullah Zaki II

Dunbar High School

Hilary Darilek

E.L. Haynes PCS

Brittany Wagner-Friel

E.L. Haynes PCS - Elementary School

Myron Long

E.L. Haynes PCS - Middle School

Emily Hueber Stoetzer

E.L. Haynes PCS - High School

Joe M. Smith, Ph.D.

Eagle Academy PCS

Wendy S. Edwards

Early Childhood Academy PCS

Sah Brown

Eastern High School

Dale E. Mann

Eaton Elementary School

Eugenia Young

Eliot-Hine Middle School

Erika Bryant

Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS

Deborah Lockhart

Excel Academy PCS

Patricia A. Brantley

Friendship Public Charter School

Khabria Hundley

Friendship PCS - Armstrong

Jeffrey Grant

Friendship PCS - Blow Pierce

Morrise Harbour

Friendship PCS - Chamberlain

Curtis Lawrence

Friendship PCS - Collegiate Academy

John Sloane

Friendship PCS - Online

David Lawery

Friendship PCS - Southeast Academy

Khalil Graham

Friendship PCS - Tech Prep Middle School Academy

Peggy Jones

Friendship PCS - Tech Prep High School Academy

Felicia Owo

Friendship PCS - Woodridge International

Kennard Branch

Garfield Elementary School

Brigham Kiplinger

Garrison Elementary School

Catherine Meloy

Goodwill Excel Center PCS

Katie Larkin

H.D. Cooke Elementary School

Darrin Slade

H.D. Woodson High School

Lucas Cooke

Hardy Middle School

Emin Cavusoglu

Harmony DC PCS

Nadine Smith

Hart Middle School

Charlette E. Butler

Hart Middle School

Jen Thomas

Hearst Elementary School

Sundai M. Riggins

Hendley Elementary School

Dr. Chloe Marshall

Hope Community PCS (Tolson and Lamond Campus)

Roxane Rucker

Hope Community PCS

Rembert Seaward

Houston Elementary School

Kathryn Procope

Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science PCS

Elizabeth Namba

Hyde-Addison Elementary School

Justin Rydstrom


George H. Rutherford

Ideal Academy PCS

Aaron Cuny

Ingenuity Prep PCS

Deborah Dantzler Williams

Inspired Teaching Demonstration PCS

Soncyree Lee

Inspiring Youth Program and Youth Services Center

Heidi Haggerty

J.O. Wilson Elementary School

Alysia Lutz

Janney Elementary School

Greg Dohmann

Jefferson Academy Middle School

Courtney Taylor

Johnson Middle School

Kortni Stafford

Kelly Miller Middle School

Maisha Riddlesprigger

Ketcham Elementary School

David Landeryou

Key Elementary

Johann Lee

Kimball Elementary School

Angel Hunter

King Elementary School

Shannon T. Hodge

Kingsman Academy PCS

Susan Schaeffler


Abe Clayman


Aliesha Maye


Allison Artis

KIPP DC - Arts & Technology Academy PCS

Amy Witherspoon

KIPP DC - Connect Academy PCS

Andhra Lutz

KIPP DC - College Preparatory PCS

Caitlin Maxwell

KIPP DC - Northeast Academy PCS

Donny Tiengtum

KIPP DC - Spring Academy PCS

Erin Huseby

KIPP DC - Promise Academy PCS

Gaelan Gallagher

KIPP DC - Heights Academy PCS

Gillian Conner

KIPP DC - Valor Academy PCS

Jerry Jellig


John Barnhardt


John Petersen

KIPP DC - Quest Academy PCS

Lauren Ellis

KIPP DC - Grow Academy PCS

Mekia Love

KIPP DC - Lead Academy PCS

Michael Cordell

KIPP DC - The Learning Center

Sommer Wynn

KIPP DC - Discover Academy PCS

Roman Smith

Kramer Middle School

Carrie Broquard

Lafayette Elementary School

Kemi Husbands

Langdon Elementary School

Vanessa Drumm-Canepa

Langley Elementary School

Justin Ralston

LaSalle-Backus Education Campus

Diane Cottman

Latin American Montessori Bilingual PCS

Nicole Hanrahan

LAYC Career Academy PCS

Andrew Smith

Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School

Niyeka Wilson

Leckie Education Campus

Chris Pencikowski

Lee Montessori PCS

Jada Langston

Luke C. Moore Opportunity High School

Mark Sanders

MacFarland Middle School

Zara Berry-Young

Malcolm X Elementary School

Liz Whisnant

Mann Elementary School

Katie Lundgren

Marie Reed Elementary School

Carolyne Albert-Garvey

Maury Elementary School

Linda McKay

Mary McLeod Bethune Day Academy PCS

Heather D. Wathington, Ph.D

Maya Angelou Schools and See Forever Foundation

M. Louise Jones

McKinley Technology High School and Middle School

Candice Bobo

Meridian PCS

Bruce W. Jackson

Miner Elementary School

Emily Bloomfield

Monument Academy PCS

Akela Stanfield-Dogbe

Moten Elementary School

Kristin Scotchmer

Mundo Verde Bilingual PCS

Chris Cebrzynski

Murch Elementary School

Kim Adutwum

Nalle Elementary School

Jennifer L. Ross

National Collegiate Preparatory PCHS

Kermit Burks

Noyes Elementary School

Carolyn Jackson-King, Ed.D.

Orr Elementary School

Mayra Canizales

Oyster-Adams Bilingual School

Victorie L. Thomas, Ed.D.

Patterson Elementary School

Dr. Tracy L. Wright

Paul PCS

Stephanie Byrd

Payne Elementary School

Elena Bell

Peabody and Watkins Elementary School

Rachel D. Crouch

Perry Street Preparatory PCS

Willie Jackson

Phelps ACE High School

Terri Fuller

Plummer Elementary School

O’Kiyyah Lyons-Lucas

Powell Elementary School

Kristie Edwards

Randle Highlands Elementary School

Natalie Hubbard

Raymond Education Campus

Dr. Marco Clark

Richard Wright PCS for Journalism and Media Arts

Aimeé Cepeda, Ed.D.

River Terrace Education Campus

Jacque D. Patterson, Sr.

Rocketship Schools

Benjamin Williams

Ron Brown College Preparatory High School

Aqueelha James

Roosevelt High School

DeWayne Little

Roosevelt STAY Opportunity Academy

Bernida Thompson, Ed.D.

Roots PCS

Holly Searl

Ross Elementary School

Lisa Rosado

Savoy Elementary School

Richard Trogisch

School Without Walls High School and Francis-Stevens

John E. Burst

School-Within-School @ Goding

Kim Jackson

Seaton Elementary School

Mecha Inman

SEED PCS of Washington, D.C.

Joy King-Pike

Sela PCS

Jenifer Moore

Sela PCS

Jade L. Brawley

Shepherd Elementary School

Regina Rodriguez

Shining Stars Montessori Academy PCS

Sharon Holmes

Simon Elementary School

Kiana Williams

Smothers Elementary School

Lauren Catalano

Somerset Preparatory Academy PCS

Courtney Wilkerson

Sousa Middle School

Sharon Raimo

St. Coletta Special Education PCS

Carlie John Fisherow

Stanton Elementary School

Don Bryant

Stoddert Elementary School

Kristofer Comeforo

Stuart-Hobson Middle School

Natasha Warsaw

Sustainable Futures PCS

Loren Brody

Takoma Education Campus

Nakia Nicholson

The Children's Guild DC PCS

Julie Meyer

The Next Step/El Proximo Paso PCS

Davia L. Walker

Thomas Elementary School

Carmen Shepherd

Thomson Elementary School

Richard Pohlman

Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS

Mary Ann Stinson

Truesdell Education Campus

Amanda Delabar

Tubman Elementary School

Eric Bethel

Turner Elementary School

David Nitkin

Two Rivers PCS

Mitchell Brunson

Tyler Elementary School

Cynthia Robinson-Rivers

Van Ness Elementary School

Clinton Turner

Walker-Jones Education Campus

Elizabeth Torres, Ed.D.

Washington Global PCS

Howard Mebane

Washington Global PCS

Peter Timothy Anderson

Washington Latin PCS

Sttacy Kane

Washington Leadership Academy PCS

N'Deye Diagne, Ph.D.

Washington Mathematics Science Technology PCS

Michael Alexander

Washington Metropolitan Opportunity Academy and CHOICE Academy

Maquita Alexander

Washington Yu Ying PCS

Megan Vroman

West Education Campus

Shenora N. Plenty, Ed.D

Wheatley Education Campus

Tenia Pritchard

Whittier Education Campus

Kimberly Martin

Wilson High School

Andrew Touchette

YouthBuild PCS