As Principal of High Tech LA I would like to pause for a moment and reflect on the tragic death of George Floyd and the subsequent activities across the nation. Floyd, 46, died last Monday in Minneapolis. Video of his final moments of life, pleading for his life as he is held down by a police officer, has been widely seen around the world. His final words were, “I can’t breathe.” His pleas were ignored. He went unconscious and died shortly after.
HTLA is a school for all. We are a small community. However, residing, as we do, inside the larger Los Angeles area, HTLA is impacted directly by events and forces outside our classrooms. This is one of those times. Floyd’s death has sparked intense outrage, protests, and violence. While we are small, we are part of the larger community. As such, it is our responsibility to pay attention, to consider deeply difficult questions and to work to create a better society for all.
HTLA strives towards inclusion. All students have a place in our classes. Our teachers require reflection and invite difficult conversations with our students. All students and opinions are treated with dignity and we work hard to create an environment where students are able to learn without being subjected to prejudice, harassment or bullying. HTLA does not discriminate on the basis of color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, veteran status or disability. We know we are not perfect and we reaffirm our commitment to a school where all students can learn. Liberty and justice for all and the pursuit of happiness are clearly strained right now. HTLA is committed to furthering and supporting these ideals in all we do.
Given our current physical distance due to COVID-19 and the rapidly approaching summer vacation, the connection between HTLA’s faculty and students is somewhat diminished. While we are doing incredible work with students in the distance-learning environment, it is not the same as being together in the classroom. Students do not have our safe and supportive classroom environment to work through their questions and express their feelings. Therefore, we urge families to have the difficult conversations we need to have. We urge students to stay in contact with our teachers. We urge all to stay safe and to stay committed to the possibility of a better society for all. Here are some resources to help you in these conversations:
Finally and directly, to all our Black students and families: Black Lives Matter.
HTLA will continue to offer excellent educational opportunity to all.
-Administration, Faculty and Staff of High Tech LA