No Room for Racism in Our Schools
The expectation of our Kent School District students, parents, staff, and community members is that our schools provide a safe and caring environment where all students are treated with respect. In addition, every school must be staffed with loving, caring adults who value the individual differences in all our students. Unfortunately, sometimes our system is faced with incidences where this is not the case – especially with looking through a racial bias lens.
To address this complicated issue of racism in our schools, we cannot ignore the history of public education. The American public education system in this country from the Mayflower to this very moment never achieved an equitable education system. The structure was designed for centuries to ensure that SOME kids got an excellent education. SOME kids got a fair education. And SOME kids got an education that was an insult to the word “education”. This racist practice goes against our ideals of freedom and equality; and it is our responsibility to fight it.
As union members and educators, we stand united in our support for diversity in our public schools and ensuring that all students are welcomed and supported. The Kent Education Association opposes racism everywhere, including in our classrooms, in our schools, and on social media. We strongly oppose and condemn the racist and bigoted comments recently made on social media by a Kent educator.
It is every educator’s responsibility to deal with incidents such as name-calling, racial slurs and jokes and social media seriously. It is every educator’s responsibility to encourage extracurricular activities where students can explore and celebrate their cultural heritage and backgrounds and individual differences. And it is the responsibility of every educator to call out racism when they see or experience it. Only then will we see improvement towards equality for all.