Dear Bradford Families,
Our nation has been grappling with so many uncertainties over the past few months. We awoke one morning to the COVID-19 crisis and a complete disruption of our lives. Our schools, businesses, jobs, and lives were shut down, and life as we knew it ceased. Overnight, our plans, graduations, trips, and dreams were all shattered, and hopelessness and fear threatened to consume our lives. As many began to panic, Bradford Academy students and families braced themselves for battle. As people began reaching for short-term solutions, Bradford Academy began planning for long-term sustainability and growth. As the world sat back waiting to see what would happen, the Bradford community came together to make them happen. The Bradford community demonstrated its strength, its solidarity, its commitment to our children’s future.
This past week we were hit with yet another life-altering event. This time it was a horrendous and inhumane act of violence that has devastated the Black community nationwide, over and over again. Unlike COVID, this did not come from a “silent killer;” but, like COVID, it is a scourge that has viciously targeted the Black community. Time and time again we see and hear of black lives ripped from us far too soon, and time and time again we watch as no one is called to account for this oppression and violence. At Bradford Academy, we are committed and united with you, our families, in breaking down and standing up to this injustice.
We did not know George Floyd. Nor did we know Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Bettie Jones, Sandra Bland, or the countless others who have been murdered by racism and systemic brutality. But, we see them walk our hallways. We see them in our lunchroom, our playgrounds, our football team, our clubs, our classrooms, and our staff meetings. We hear their voices and see their smiles in our students and staff every single day. We see the kind and caring human beings, who like all of us, are not perfect, but humans nonetheless; which perhaps is what makes this so painful and explains why it resonates so much because we see ourselves in them.
Martin Luther King Jr said it best. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” With love, we vow to never stay silent in the face of atrocities and injustices and will stand strong and united at the forefront of the fight for justice and equality for all. We will empower your children to demand justice. We see you. We hear you. We stand with you. Together we are Bradford Strong.
Damon Barber, Bradford Academy Board Member
Mark Baughman, Bradford Academy Board Member
Lee Caldwell, Bradford Academy Board Member
Theresa Vaughn, Bradford Academy Board Member
Darrlyn Harrison, Bradford Academy High School Principal
Adrian Edwards, Bradford Academy Assistant High School Principal
Gary Stevens, Bradford Academy K-8 Principal
Widad Luqman, Bradford Academy K-5 Assistant Principal
Jason Veitch, Bradford Academy 6-8 Assistant Principal