JOINT STATEMENT on Police Brutality and Systemic Racism
We condemn hate crimes, police brutality, and the systemic and pervasive institutional factors that have led to the recent violence and trauma impacting communities of color across the country.
Taking our lead from NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, we reiterate that “The uprising spreading across this country is fueled by systemic racial issues that have been ingrained in the fabric of this nation.” Systemic racism has brought us to this current moment. The wave of anger and collective action set off by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman is not happening in a vacuum, but against the backdrop of COVID 19, which has unleashed a wave of xenophobia against the Asian community, laid bare the disparate impact of the virus on communities of color, and highlighted the deep structural inequities and inaccessibility of our current healthcare system.
What we are witnessing right now at these protests, including those taking place right here in Boston, is a legitimate public outcry not only for justice and equality, but also for accountability: of law enforcement officials, of governments, and of ourselves as individuals. The vast majority of these protestors are exercising their right to free speech effectively and peacefully, and it is imperative to not let their message get derailed or criminalized based on the actions of a few violent looters and instigators behaving as spoilers.
We believe that right now, in the immediate aftermath of these protests, the town of Winchester has the responsibility to reaffirm our core values and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as penned in our Human Rights Statement. We call on everyone in this community to act as anti-racists and proclaim that our community, united in solidarity across town government, schools, and places of work and worship, has zero tolerance for racism, hatred or exclusion of any kind. This message can be strengthened by working together to process what we are hearing and seeing in the media — at the dinner table, in community conversations, in virtual classrooms, and within faith communities.
Beyond Winchester we can take action towards addressing systemic changes in public safety and policing by letting our elected official, Representative Katherine Clark, know that we support her co-sponsorship of H.Res.988. This Resolution, put forth by Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar, condemns police brutality, racial profiling, and excessive use of force.
While the actions endorsed here represent a more immediate response to the murder of George Floyd and ensuing anguish and protest, we are committed to a longer-term strategy. We envision all of us working together with the entire Winchester community to maintain a focus on systemic racism and inequities, so that our interpersonal actions and institutionalized policies all contribute to a community that lives up to the values of its Human Rights Statement. In doing so we ensure Winchester is fully “grounded in respect for every individual, and therefore protects all residents, employees, business owners, students and visitors in the enjoyment and exercise of human and civil rights.”
Liora Norwich, Executive Director, Network for Social Justice
Lisa Wong, Winchester Town Manager
Michael Bettencourt, Chair, Winchester Select Board
Susan Verdicchio, Vice-Chair, Winchester Select Board
Mariano Goluboff, Winchester Select Board
Jacqueline A. Welch, Winchester Select Board
Amy Shapiro, Winchester Select Board
Judith Evans, Superintendent, Winchester Public Schools
Michelle Bergstrom, Chair, Winchester School Committee
Brian Vernaglia, Vice-Chair, Winchester School Committee
Karen Maruyama Bolognese, Winchester School Committee
Zeina Marchant, Winchester School Committee
Chris Nixon, Winchester School Committee
To provide all students with an outstanding education in a nurturing yet challenging environment that fosters
academic achievement, healthy social and emotional development, enthusiasm for education, and a life-long love for learning.
Regular meetings of the Winchester School Committee are usually scheduled for 7:00 PM on the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month from September through June at the Parkhurst School, Conference Room, 40 Samoset Road, Winchester.
The Committee meetings are usually carried live on WinCAM and rebroadcast on the local cable channel - Comcast 22/Verizon 36. Prior meetings are also streamed on WinCAM under Municipal Meetings.
The Winchester School Committee consists of five members elected for three-year terms, so arranged that as nearly an equal number of terms as possible expire each year. The Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, and Financial Officer, sit at the meeting table but are not members of the committee and do not participate in votes. The minutes of the Committee are taken by the Committee Secretary who also sits at the table.
The Committee has the powers and duties as given to it by the Constitution and General Laws of the Commonwealth and such additional powers as authorized by Home Rule Charter and other Town Meeting votes. The School Committee duties include:
1. Establish goals and policies for the Winchester School System relating to education and insuring that the policies are implemented by the Administration.
2. Appoint the Superintendent of the Winchester Public Schools.
3. Make all reasonable rules and regulations, consistent with law, for the administration and management of the Winchester Public Schools.
4. Responsible for review and approval of the Winchester school system annual budget.
5. Responsible for negotiating all contracts with the Winchester Educational Association (WEA).
Brian Vernaglia, Chair
19 Sargent Road
Karen Maruyama Bolognese, Vice-Chair
27 Pilgrim Drive
24 Central Street
130 Forest Street
28 Water Street