Dr. Stephanie Elizalde
There are no words
When the unimaginable plays out before our eyes, there are no words that can help us comprehend the horrors we see, like the images captured on the Memphis video where a young man brutally lost his life. There are no words to comfort, sense make, analyze, or explain. None.
In times when words fail us, we must cling to the humanity that binds us to guard our hearts and minds and keep us from losing hope, making it impossible to move forward, together. Now, not tomorrow, we must come together and take a stand against this type of blatant disregard for human life. More than ever, we should be compelled to, in our own little corners of the world, work every day to bridge build and teach our children to understand, respect, and honor each other. Even more importantly, we must model that behavior with our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and others.
The world becomes a dangerous place when we give ourselves a pass to somehow close our eyes to any harsh reality that negatively impacts our world. And when we fail to address it, it plays out in the streets, in our homes, and in our communities, as we have seen in Memphis.
As a mother, my heart breaks at the thought of anyone’s child being subjected to that type of inhumane treatment. As a superintendent of a school district focused on preparing young people to lead better lives and contribute to the world around them, I am more resolved than ever to help give students, the tools to improve the world around them, for they are our hope for a better tomorrow. And as a member of this human race, I will not stop advocating for respect, understanding, tolerance, equity, and kindness.
At this moment, it is easy to lose hope. We have seen far too many instances like this playing out across the nation. But I am not a quitter, and neither are our teachers, principals and team members. Tough times require even tougher people, and we are here for the solution. You have our word that Dallas ISD will do everything in our power to ensure our young students are equipped to do the same, and we invite you to join us.
Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with Tyre Nichols’ family. And I ask that we all work to bring some meaning to this incredible tragedy. Let’s start today.
President Justin Henry
Dallas ISD Board of Trustees
It is exhaustingly painful to watch another national event where, once again, a young Black man is murdered in such a brutal manner. Tyre Nichols, 29, was a dad to a 4-year-old son. From what I’ve read, he loved to photograph sunsets and skateboard, a passion he’s had since he was a little boy.
No human with a soul can watch this story unfold and feel like the world is OK. We are not OK. Tyre’s murder is another painful reflection of the racial injustices in America. It is beyond time to move from rhetoric and to a point of action. We all must act, especially local leaders and policy makers.
Our Dallas ISD Board of Trustees have acted diligently to address racial inequities in Dallas ISD. The racial injustices of our past and present continue to stoke fires and leave wreckage in our streets, homes, and communities. If we fail to take a stand against the type of behavior displayed in Memphis and the systems that create that behavior, we cannot move forward as a nation.
My heart breaks to know Tyre cried out for his mom who was not far away. As a parent, the thought of that is paralyzing. No one should lose their life this way.
Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Tyre Nichols, and we continue to pray for them.