Statement from Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Pajardo

I, like many of you, struggled throughout the weekend watching the events unfold across the country and in our region. With the difficulty of the past few months on all of our shoulders, to see such pain and frustration was unbearable. This is one of those times that we as adults can have a difficult time articulating our feelings and in turn, explaining to our students and children what they see on the news.  Kids are looking for leadership and answers that are not easy to find.

It is through times like these I am inspired by our elders and generations who preceded them, who persevered through difficult times and fought for freedoms that are now afforded to us. I'm further inspired by our young people – their activism, their passion, their resilience. It is in their faces that I find comfort and the motivation I need to keep going. My goal is to have our schools be a place of emotional and physical safety, a culture of inclusion, and a place where each person experiences a sense of belonging. 

Even with my goals and enduring optimism, I must acknowledge that the struggle for our students and community members of color cannot be ignored. There is sadness, hurt, confusion, and even anger; these emotions have been expressed in different ways. If you or know of others who may need help, please take advantage of available resources such school counselors for our students, the Employee Assistance Program for school staff, and the City's human services office for community members. 

What I am asking from you – parents, teachers, leaders and members of our community - is to take this opportunity to listen and reflect. Talk to others, especially the kids in your life. Look for meaningful answers together. Consider finding and supporting a cause to help the ones who need it most. 

The City of Fairfax Schools is here for you. Our principals, our administrators and our school district staff are working together for a positive future for our students and community. We are Fairfax! We can and will get through this together.