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Press Release

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

CCSSO Statement on Events in Charlottesville

Contact:Olympia Meolaolympia.meola@ccsso.org202-336-7071

Washington, D.C. (August 16, 2017) - Chris Minnich, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released the following statement, in light of the events that occurred recently in Charlottesville, Va. and the national discussion taking place following those events.

"I am deeply saddened and troubled by the news out of Charlottesville. At CCSSO, we stand for children - all children - and this type of hate, racism and bigotry has no place in our society or our schools. I am proud of our organization for solidifying our longstanding, deep commitment to equity for all kids by publishing Leading for Equity commitments earlier this year. In this document, we cite part of a famous quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: 'Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Even a superficial look at history reveals that no social advance rolls in on the wheels inevitability. Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Without persistent effort, time itself becomes an ally of the insurgent and primitive forces of irrational emotionalism and social destruction. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.'

Dr. King wrote this in a memoir in 1958. Unfortunately, nearly 60 years later, it is still timely and important. We cannot be apathetic or complacent. We cannot allow this type of hatred to continue to persist. It is through education that we can work together toward positive action that can eradicate this type of hate and create safe, supportive learning environments and a better, more equitable world for all kids - especially those who have been historically marginalized and disadvantaged in our country.

I am proud to work with passionate, dedicated state education leaders across the country to make sure we create a better future for every child."

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The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.