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    Principal Letter to the School Community
    Posted on 07/29/2019

    Dear Van Asselt Elementary Families, Staff, and Community:

    Some of you may be aware of a student incident that took place prior to the summer break. While this situation was resolved in May, including mediation of a resolution between the teacher and family, because of recent social media posts, I want to make sure our families, staff, and broader community know what took place and staff actions moving forward.

    In May, a teacher experienced a situation where she felt personally unsafe and felt she should involve the police. Alternative approaches were recommended, but the teacher chose to call 911.

    I am aware that this situation is being held up as an example of racial bias in the broader community. Our children's emotional health, sense of belonging, and well-being is my highest priority. Our staff must hold ourselves to the highest standards and work every day to uplift and preserve the dignity of our children.

    After the incident, in support of School Board Policy 3240 (Student Behavior and Disciplinary Responses), our staff discussed the implications of the 911 call, alternative responses, and our collective and individual responsibility to disrupt racist systems that disproportionately affect students of color.

    I am proud to be the principal of Van Asselt Elementary. Van Asselt staff will continue our collective work with the Seattle Education Association (SEA), our racial equity team, and central office to improve our discipline approaches and to use equitable and student affirming alternatives.

    Together, we will make sure that all students at Van Asselt are Rising Stars.

    Working Together,
    Principal Lam
    Van Asselt @ African American Academy