June 19, 2020
Good Morning Warren Students, Families, and Staff,
Earlier this week, I shared a message that Warren and all Marion County Schools are illuminating their football stadium lights today, June 19th, from 10:14 - 10:22:46 to honor George Floyd who was killed while restrained by a Minneapolis Police Officer. In that message, I incorrectly described the meaning behind Juneteenth and for that I am very sorry.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.
I believe it is important for us to understand our history because it does impact our future. The discussion of racism in our society is not a new topic. The actions we will need to take to eradicate it will be.
As a school district that proudly serves a beautiful diverse community, Warren will initiate some of these actions. Thank you for your understanding of my error, and I look forward to working with you to make our community more united.
Dr. Tim Hanson, Superintendent of Schools for MSD Warren Township