Together for Justice

Dear District 20 Families and Community: Recent events in our Nation

The safety and well-being of our students and staff members are our highest priority. To this end,  I am writing to you concerning the recent events in our nation that have targeted our Asian- American and Black communities. Although anti-Asian and anti-Black racism and violence have been a terrible reality for many of our families for quite some time now, the tragedies that occurred in Atlanta, Georgia and Minneapolis, Minnesota has moved these issues to the forefront of our schools. This is a moment for all of us to recognize the recent uptick of racial violence against our Asian community as acts of hate and violence against all communities of color.

As the new superintendent of District 20, I have met with parent leaders and school leaders in our community and it has become abundantly clear to me these acts of violence are real concerns for our students and families. These acts have caused many in our community great harm, fear, and anguish. As your Superintendent, I stand alongside our families and believe that it is important to provide updates on how our schools are responding to the needs of our community.

In response to the ongoing climate of anti-Asian racism and violence, District 20 schools are

working diligently to support our families with continued communication with our families about

the measures taken to ensure the safety of their school communities. Our principals are leveraging support from my office and the Brooklyn South Borough Citywide Office, engaging our students in anti-hate and anti-discrimination activities, and requiring all school staff members to undergo implicit-bias training. Our partners in the Office of Safety and Youth Development are helping our district plan targeted supports for our schools and to proactively promote a safe and supportive learning environment for our all of our students. Our schools should be safe spaces to have difficult conversations and as your Superintendent I commit that we will not teach hate, we will not allow hate to continue to hurt our families and we will not allow racism to rob our students of the hope for safety in our schools and communities.

As your Superintendent, I want to assure you that issues of racism and equity remain focal points of my work. Our district’s vast diversity contributes to the tapestry that makes our community so beautiful and special. I am committed to ensuring that our students learn and thrive in an environment that is safe, supportive, and embraces the diversity that District 20 represents. As we close out the school year, I will continue to provide you with updates on the steps that we take to ensure the safety and celebration of our families in our community and nation.

Racism and violence have no place in any community. We are here for you, your

children, and our community. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your school’s principal, parent coordinator, or to my office to inform us of any concerns. Thank you for your continued

partnership and support.



David Pretto

Community Superintendent

A Citywide Commitment

NYC schools are committed to being safe, welcoming, culturally responsive communities that support the social-emotional health of our students. Bigotry, bias, and bullying have no place. This means we must address violence and racism in our society, and help create discussion and dialogue about how it has impacted people in the past and continues to do so in the present. This webpage offers resources for families to have those discussions, as assembled by experts at DOE. We also offer connections to mental health support—since these are difficult issues for all of us to experience and grapple with.

Resources for Families


How to Talk to Your Children About Race and Current Events

Guidance for Family Conversations about George Floyd, Racism, and Law Enforcement (Anti-Defamation League)

Talking to Kids About Racism, Early and Often (New York Times)

31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance (Embracerace)

Black Lives Matter Still Matters (Teaching Tolerance)

Talking about Race for Parents & Caregivers (National Museum of African American History & Culture)

Coming Together, Standing Up to Racism (Sesame Street)