This past week we have witnessed immense pain and frustration in communities across America.
I am greatly saddened by the tragic events in Minneapolis and the many others occurring in our country recently. Above all, I want you to know that we are here to support you, listen and stand by you.
As I reflect during this time, I recall my distinct memories of the racial tensions and strife in the 1960s as a young child. I have been proud of the progress our country has made to fight racism and discrimination, but the circumstances of these recent horrendous events show how far we must still go. My prayers are with those families and communities that have been so deeply impacted. As we take time for introspection, we also have a responsibility, more than ever, to listen and understand the frustrations of our fellow citizens.
First Student fully supports the right to peaceful demonstrations in and beyond the communities we serve. We have zero tolerance for racism or violence of any kind. I take great pride that we work for a company with such a diverse workforce. I hope we all feel proud to serve and operate in so many extremely diverse communities across North America.
As we have proven time and again during the COVID-19 pandemic, we can overcome tragedy when we come together. When the communities we serve need us most, we rise to the call. As our core values reflect, we are a company committed to a culture of safety, support and respect for our employees and the students we serve.
I believe that education is a powerful equalizer. Each of you plays a critical role in shaping the lives of millions of children across North America. Every day, you have the unique opportunity to build trust with the students we serve by ensuring they are safe, respected, accepted and treated fairly. Your awareness and thoughtfulness impacts and changes lives. More than ever, each of us must continue to be inclusive in our work and in the neighborhoods we serve.
Paul G. Osland
First Student President