The following message was sent on March 19 to Evanston Township High School staff, students, and families.
Dear ETHS Community,
Hate crimes against Asian and Asian American people have been on the rise, particularly in the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was crushing to learn of the tragic incidents in Georgia this week that have taken the lives of eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent. ETHS denounces the discrimination and hateful acts of violence against the Asian community. We acknowledge that students and staff who identify as Asian are too often invisible in the fight against racism. Yet again, we must stand together in our antiracist work. It is together where we are united in combating a familiar enemy—racism. And it is our collective stance that sends the message that racist and xenophobic acts have no place at ETHS and should have no place in our society.
This year, ETHS freshmen read They Called Us Enemy, a firsthand account by George Takei of a family experiencing the racism and violence against people of Japanese descent in this country who were unconstitutionally rounded up and sent to “relocation centers” behind barbed wire with military guards during World War II. By selecting that book for all freshmen, we were focusing on racism against the Asian community last August, and sadly those occurrences in our nation have steadily increased during this school year.
We must continue to be diligent and determined in our own community to fight racism and hate. We must strengthen our efforts to create a safe and welcoming school for our students and staff.
We call upon you once again to be a brave antiracist. The work of antiracism is ongoing and doesn’t stop. It requires consistent resolve, strength, and courage in the face of consistent physical and verbal violence.
Dr. Martin Luther King says that a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Let’s be diligent in our efforts for justice for the sake of our collective humanity.
Students may reach out to their social worker if they express distress or desire support by calling 847-424-7230 or emailing (contact information in the link above).
A list of resources is available on the ETHS website: community resources, as well as hotlines (http://www.eths.k12.il.us/Page/799) for students, families and staff.
Eric Witherspoon, Ph.D.
Marcus Campbell, Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent and Principal