The following statement was released by Milton High School principal James Jette on June 1, 2020:
Milton High School principal James Jette releases statement about George Floyd killing
Dear Milton High School Community:
It is with a heavy heart that I write to you and express my pain and concern regarding the unfortunate murder of George Floyd that I am sure by now, many of you have seen and heard about over the past several days. Unfortunately, this scenario has occurred far too often and we all need to demand a change. We deserve better!
As an African American male and Principal of Milton High, I feel I have an obligation to speak out to reassure everyone but especially our black and brown students that they are safe and they attend a school in a community that is caring and supportive of ALL students. More importantly, we are a school that stands against any form of racism and discrimination.
As I have said many times before, I am honored, and feel privileged, to be the Principal of an excellent high school in one of the best communities in the Commonwealth. The Milton community is one of the most diverse communities in this state other than your big cities. With that said, as a community, I strongly feel that we need to come together and let it be known that we stand against social injustice, police brutality, and racism. We need to have difficult conversations with our students and address these issues when they happen in an open-minded and honest way. Our faculty and staff will continue to be responsive to inquiries and engage our students in discussions to support them where we can.
To be clear, I do not condone the rioting, looting nor the burning down businesses but one must understand the built-up pain and frustration that some feel while fighting for justice without seeing the results. Our actions to promote positive change need to be clear, productive, and firm. We cannot allow rioting and looting to distract us from the real message behind the protest which is a message of equality, justice, and respect for all types of diversity whether it be race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, language, religion, beliefs sexuality, sexual orientation, etc.
Finally, it is important to know that if we were in school, I would have personally addressed this issue with our students, staff and summons the support of our Site Council and Diversity Committee to hold forums to express themselves and brainstorm on action steps to make effective change. Unfortunately, the pandemic does not allow for that at this time, however; if you (guardian, staff or student) have a concern or feel as though you need additional support during this time, I am asking that you reach out to an Administrator, Guidance Counselor or an Adjustment Counselor.
I know we cannot change the world however, as a diverse community we can stand in unity during this time of civil and racial unrest and make a strong statement about acceptance and justice for all.
In the spirit of one community!
James F. Jette
Milton High School