Boyle County School District releases statement on race relations

Published 1:32 pm Monday, June 22, 2020

Boyle County Schools Superintendent Mike LaFavers has released a statement regarding the current climate of racial tension.

In the statement, LaFavers said the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have caught his attention and caused him to reflect on the recent tension in race relations.

“This summer has been a difficult one for all of us in many ways,” LaFavers wrote. “It has, however, provided time for reflection on many topics. One topic that I have been focused on of late is race relations. I am deeply saddened by the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. These situations and others like them have gotten my attention and I am sure yours as well.”

Email newsletter signup

LaFavers emphasized the importance of citizens feeling safe in their communities and said his goal is to make sure that students within the Boyle County School District feel welcome within the school community.

“It is imperative that all of our citizens feel safe in our communities. We cannot be satisfied with a world where some people have a genuine fear of the way our basic social structures function. It is definitely time for us all to stand together in the name of social justice,” LaFavers said. “What does this mean for the public school that I am in charge of? Are all children treated fairly? Can every student pursue their own unique passions and ambitions? Are we nurturing all of our students to our greatest ability? My answer to all of these questions is…yes. “

LaFavers later went on to say that he recognizes that there are a lot of aspects to the current racial climate that he doesn’t understand, but promised to be open to listening and creating opportunities for students to speak.

“However, what I am beginning to realize is that I am the wrong person to answer these questions; a married, white, 52-year-old man,” LaFavers said. “My perspective on the world is skewed by my experiences and my own reality based on my upbringing and the places and experiences I encountered along the way. How then can I speak for the 2,750 students in my district? The answer is, I cannot and I should not. I need to listen and I need to create situations where our students can speak freely and directly to me and others in the district. That is my promise.”

LaFavers concluded his statement by acknowledging that he doesn’t hold a lot of answers moving forward, but he is optimistic of what the generation of young people coming through the school system right now bring to the table.

“I do not have the answers but I do know that this generation of students is uniquely prepared to lead us old folks into the 21st century and beyond,” LaFavers said. “This generation of young people is thoughtful, inclusive, and caring, and they bring unique perspectives that we need to hear. I, for one, promise to listen and I encourage others to do the same.”