• A Message to Our Community

    Posted by Gordon Amerson, Ed.D. on 6/2/2020

    June 2, 2020

    Dear Duarte Unified Family,

    On behalf of our entire DUSD family and community, I send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. George Floyd. Mr. Floyd was killed while handcuffed, face down, and in the custody of not one but four police officers. He, a precious human being, lay with a knee on his neck, begging for his life. I have and continue to weep for not only Mr. Floyd but also many other Black Americans treated unjustly in the United States. This is the time for us in our Duarte Community to raise our awareness and commitment to the principles of common decency, morality, and equity. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You never know what results will come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.” I am urging all of us to take action, and that collective action must be to listen. Listen to understand the pain my Black Community is feeling today and has felt since that first slave ship arrived in Point Comfort, Virginia, in August of 1619.  

    As a Black man, I write this letter today with a heart full of anger, sadness, and frustration. The times we are currently living in call for even more straight talk and transparency. My time on this Earth has often been difficult. I have endured countless examples of racism, discrimination, and profiling, simply because of the color of my skin. I have had items thrown on me, been called racial slurs, and been physically threatened because I am black. I share these experiences with you, not to seek your pity, but to share with you that the lived experience of a Black man, even with the prestigious Superintendent title, endures some of the same injustices as those without titles. What binds Mr. Floyd and I are two distinct realities: the color of our skin and the structural racism in the United States. In other words, there is no reason that couldn’t have been me on the ground, face down, with an officer’s knee on my neck. 

    As your Superintendent, I write this letter today with a heart that is hopeful and committed to informing, teaching, and inspiring. Since joining the Duarte family two years ago, you know that I often speak from the heart and will be transparent with how I feel. This community can be a beacon of hope for this nation. We can use the power of education to transform, inspire, and transcend the racial, cultural, and socioeconomic disparities that have divided this country for far too long. Our scholars and the educational experiences that we offer them can provide the hope and promise of a better tomorrow for black children, brown children, all children. There will always be challenges in our nation, but there are those times that call for more from all of us. This is that time! Black Americans are being mistreated across this country, and now is the time to address it. I have seen our scholars and this community rise to the various challenges of our time, and I have confidence that we can and will again. 

    Please know that I am here to support and guide our community through this difficult time. I am here for our scholars; I am here for this community. Remember Nelson Mandela’s powerful words, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

    Be well everyone,



    Gordon Amerson, Ed.D.

    Superintendent of Schools

    Duarte Unified School District

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