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Special Message For Our District Five Family

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District Five Family,

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  This moment in our nation’s history matters, and we, as the Spartanburg District Five Schools community, cannot be silent anymore.


Spartanburg District Five Schools, along with its Board of Trustees, unequivocally stands against racism, discrimination and exclusion of all kinds.  We recognize the racial inequalities that exist in our society, and that we will lead in the work ahead to build a society that ensures equity, fairness, equality of opportunity, and security for all people.  We, like many of you, have watched in horror these last two weeks as the realities of racial inequality in our country have become painfully apparent.  We’re heartbroken over the senseless murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the countless others whose lives have been taken unjustly by acts of racial violence.  We pray for the day when ALL PEOPLE can share in the promise of our country’s freedom.


But until that day, we are committed to being part of the solution, NOT the problem.


Black students, their families, and all minorities, are a vital part of our Spartanburg District Five Schools community.  To them, we say:  “We see you, your life matters, and we support you.”


Public education is the very cornerstone of equality.  It creates an environment where people of all backgrounds can listen, learn, and grow from each other.  Education provides the opportunity to rise above your circumstances, and build a better life for yourself.  However, that promise is only true, if students of ALL COLORS can walk into our classrooms and every area of activity (including ball courts, ball fields, and band rooms), feeling safe, respected, and included.


Our motto in Spartanburg District Five is “Every Child, Every Day.” To truly live up to those words, we must commit to value, honor and celebrate EVERY CHILD, no matter their color, background, or beliefs, EVERY DAY.  We must acknowledge that racism still exists in our country, and right here in our community, and vow to stand up for those who experience it every day.  As a district, we are committed to reviewing all policies, procedures, and practices that might present barriers to equity, or prevent students from reaching their highest potential.  We must commit to change, and we must do it now.


Two weeks ago, we watched as more than 600 of our Seniors walked across the stage as graduates of Byrnes High School. Through them, and the thousands of other students we’re privileged to educate in District Five, we see the hope for a brighter future.  It’s up to us to ensure that future is bright for ALL OF THEM. 

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Randall R. Gary, Ed.D.


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Julie McMakin

Chairman, District Five Board of Trustees