Snoqualmie Valley Schools Superintendent condemns racist behaviors and practices; encourages conversations on violence, race, and privilege

On Monday June 1st, following a weekend of peaceful protests, riots and property destruction across the country over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, Snoqualmie Valley School District Superintendent Rob Manahan released a letter to families and staff, voicing condemnation of racist behaviors and practices and encouragement to stand up for justice, equality and respect.

Manahan’ approved the publishing of his letter here. It reads:

Dear Snoqualmie Valley students, staff and families

It’s hard to put into words the thoughts and range of emotions evoked by events that have transpired over the past week and weekend.  At a time when we were already struggling with fear, isolation, and frustration from the deadly pandemic, our country is now reeling from the horrific video of George Floyd’s death, which has sparked the outpouring of demands for justice and societal change.  While this has spawned peaceful protest and a rise in the awareness of some of these unfortunate and inherent racist actions and practices, it has also resulted in violence, looting and property destruction.

As a nation, we must stand up for justice, equality and respect.  As a community, we must work together to support those who are hurting, to have the hard conversations that acknowledge racism that is pervasive in our attitudes and systems.  And as a district, we want to clearly voice our condemnation of all racist behaviors and practices.  I know that many of our own families – including our students and our staff – have experienced cruelty and indignity in our community and schools because of their ethnicity or race. 

I am writing today to share my personal commitment, and that of our Snoqualmie Valley School District, to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment for every member of our school community.  The Snoqualmie Valley School District is committed to ensuring all feel they belong, are respected, valued, capable, and loved regardless of race, gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, or any other aspect of their identity.

We strive to ensure that every student achieves an excellent education, focused on preparing students for college, career, and citizenship. We value individual human differences and commit to establishing and maintaining a culture that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion.  These values are critical to the development, learning, and success of our students, and align with our Portrait of a Graduate goals, specifically around empathy and global citizenship.  

Now more than ever, our learning community must practice our values of compassion and collaboration as we overcome the challenges of the health crisis and systemic injustice.

I encourage you to take time to talk with your students, families, and colleagues about your feelings regarding the tragic death of George Floyd and the unrest in our nation including our own Snoqualmie Valley community.  To help with this conversation, the National Association of School Psychologists has helpful resources for talking with students about violence, race, and privilege. 

I also want to thank many of our educators and school leaders who are hosting or creating space for students and their colleagues, to process their feelings and examine steps we can take to fight against systemic racism and injustice.  For students who may need someone to talk to, we encourage you to reach out to your counselor via email.

Despite this time of chaos and uncertainly, it is also a time for hope and inspiration, as we witness stories of unity and neighborly support, of standing up for what’s right, and of unsolicited volunteerism.  Thank you for your partnership, collaboration and ongoing support – as we work together to ensure all of our children have the love and support they need.  


Dr. Robert W. Manahan, Superintendent

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  • Fantastic! This is wonderful to see and hopefully there will be much more of the same kind of thinking going on in this valley and the world! It has to start with us and to have the Superintendent put it out there is awesome! Knowing these kids will be under his care is a true blessing and much needed!

  • This is not enough. My son attends Snoqualmie Valley Elementary. He has a good friend that is part black that attends there.

    Someone called him the “N’ word at school. His mother, active in the PTSA, went to the current principal. Where the white, ex-military principal (and I like him, and we need to see hiring patterns through all government positions) .

    She went to talk about diversity education in our school cirriculum with him. In response to what was said to her son in our Snoqualmie Schools.

    He quickly assured her there was no room in the cirriculum and no money in the budget, and it was not happening.

    Your response, Superintendant? With concrete evidence, approved cirriculum, and an appointed budget. When will diversity education be part of our schools?
    This PR piece is unacceptable. When will the district add Diversity Cirriculum?

    1. Reading, writing, and arithmetic. If you want to indoctrinate your kids with your personal ideology, do it at home.

      1. James, this is why you see racism. We need to get kids educated and its important. We cannot afford to have another GF. Be empathetic to everyone.. be human

  • Since a conviction was obtained in the case of George Floyd and racism and hate crime was never brought up, I wonder if Dr. Robert will now see fit to apologize for the claims of racism in his email.

  • Sharilyn, why would you mention the race of the principal ? Isn’t that the very racism that you claim to stand against.
    I am very concerned about what type of curriculum you would want kids to be exposed to – hopefully not any that would lead them to expose words like in your comment.

  • Living Snoqualmie