East Brunswick superintendent says he’s ‘heartbroken’ over George Floyd’s death

EAST BRUNSWICK–In light of peaceful protests and violence erupting across the United States, Superintendent Victor Valeski emphasized the importance of diversity in the East Brunswick Public School District.

George Floyd, 46, was an unarmed African American man who died after Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes while he was handcuffed on the ground. Floyd’s death has sparked nationwide peaceful protests against police brutality, as well as looting and violence.

“I needed time to reflect. … Our confinement and isolation have given each of us and our families a front-row seat to the social unrest unfolding throughout our cities and country.  In addition to television coverage, we are all subjected to continuous doses of social media imagery and commentary,” Valeski said in a prepared statement.

“As your school leader, I am heartbroken over the senseless loss of life, … over George Floyd and all those before him. Countless peaceful public assemblies represent the pain and suffering felt throughout our society,” Valeski said.

Valeski said East Brunswick Public Schools has a rich tapestry represented by people of many colors, religions, cultures and genders. Collectively, this diversity is what makes #EBSchoolsStrong. Equity has been a priority for East Brunswick but it comes with the acknowledgment that this type of work is continuous.

“I wish I had all the answers. We can choose to be blind to the differences among us.  Instead, I have a request. … I ask you to join me in the celebration of our differences and the opportunities they present,” Valeski said in the statement. “In addition to Excellence in Academics, Athletics and Arts, it is time to add and maintain excellence in our school atmosphere as part of our school and societal narrative … for our students … for our families … for our entire East Brunswick school community.”