As a Portland parent, I want to thank Superintendent Xavier Botana for his leadership in responding to the recent hate crime against a group of Portland high school students.

When events like this take place, it is vital that our leaders speak out to reaffirm the values of the community. It’s important for those targeted or marginalized to know that the actions of a few to not represent the intention of the whole. And it is important for those who would spread hate to know that hatred will not go unanswered.

It has never been clearer that in order to defend the values of community, inclusion and equity that are the foundation of this country, we must continue to speak about them. We must tell the stories of our own families, and connect them to the public discourse of today.

In his letter to parents, Superintendent Botana reaffirmed the district’s vision to prepare students to “participate and succeed in a diverse and ever-changing world.” I’m grateful for his commitment and courage, and I’ve never been more proud to be a part of this community and raise my kids here.

Jennifer Rottmann