Statement by President Elaine Wynn, Nevada State Board of Education, and Superintendent Jhone M. Ebert, Nevada Department of Education

June 4, 2020

Today, we are bearing witness to an outpouring of sadness and pain following the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd, and too many others. In turn, we are bearing witness to an uprising against injustices which affect us all. Now is not the time for silence – not for educators, not for anyone.

As educators, we want to take a moment to let you know how seriously we take our responsibility to lead and we will use our voices for change during these challenging times. It is our job to turn this into a teachable moment; to support the protest against systemic racism and implicit bias, and help young people understand it so that they can contribute to a better and more equal future.

We need to encourage youth, and individuals from all walks of life, to use their voices; to inspire their civic engagement and give them safe spaces to express themselves while having difficult but necessary conversations. We want all students to share their perspectives on inequality and injustice, so we may work together to understand it and eradicate it. We also want our youth and anyone else who is struggling to know we care about them.

Our deepest condolences are with the Floyd family and anyone who has wept over the painful final moments of Mr. Floyd’s life. We firmly know Black lives matter and we believe Black voices matter. It is our responsibility to make sure our current and future leaders are supported, encouraged, and empowered to effect change.

Equity and inclusivity are core values of the Nevada Board of Education and the Nevada Department of Education, values which define what matters to us as an organization and as individuals. We are committed to ensuring every Nevadan sees themselves represented and is included in our efforts to chart a better future based on equity, not just equality, for all learners.