Some individuals in the city are misleading decision makers, and the people of Portland, regarding how immigrants view the search for the new school superintendent. If one would actually talk to parents in the immigrant community, rather than spread assumptions on their behalf, a more accurate picture would emerge.

Our children’s future cannot be compromised by individual agendas. As Malcolm X said, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” As part of the Portland Public Schools parent community, we are standing up and saying that we will not be the scapegoat for anyone’s agenda regarding this issue.

We support the right candidate for the job, without regard to race, and the hiring process should be fair and transparent to the people of Portland. Our school district cannot afford to lose middle-class families or quality education for low-income children. It is clear that we need a superintendent who understands the value of education in Maine and knows how to balance the needs of our kids with the demands of their parents. The correct choice is the person who can do the job regardless of the color of their skin.

I would like to thank our current superintendent, James C. Morse Sr., for his service and dedication. Our children are making progress and have farther to go. As another civil rights leader once said, “we may have all came on a different ship, but we are all in the same boat.”

Hamza Haadoow