Dear Editor – Culver City Board of Education Reaffirms Commitment to Equal Access, and Condemns Racism

Dear Editor, 

The Culver City Board of Education stands in solidarity with our Black students, staff, and the entire Black community. The death of George Floyd was not an anomaly but represents a history of oppression Black people have endured for far too long. Now is not the time to be silent or mince words. On November 27, 2018, the Board unanimously approved an equity policy. Part of that policy says the following:

In order to eradicate institutional bias of any kind, including implicit or unintentional biases and prejudices that affect student achievement, and to eliminate disparities in educational outcomes for students from historically underserved and underrepresented populations, the district shall proactively identify class and cultural biases as well as practices, policies, and institutional barriers that negatively influence student learning, perpetuate achievement gaps, and impede equal access to opportunities for all students.

In alignment with our policies and mission, we condemn racism in all forms. Our commitment to providing a safe and supportive environment where all of our students are able to learn and thrive without fear of discrimination extends beyond the classrooms. When we witness police brutality or discrimination of any kind, we are obligated to respond with words and actions that denounce such atrocities. Academics are important, but the social-emotional health of our students and staff is paramount. The stress of racism kills. The strength of our community is diminished when we allow any of our members to suffer alone or in silence. We realize that the impact of 246 years of chattel slavery and 155 years of Jim Crow, Black Codes, segregation, and institutionalized racism will not be easily undone, but we have a responsibility to acknowledge the injustices that have brought us to this point. We bear the weight of this challenge for the sake of every student to know that they are seen, heard, and valued. We have a responsibility to help dismantle a system that only serves to break the bodies and spirits of those whose lives have not mattered for far too long. That starts with taking this opportunity to reimagine education through the lens of racial justice.

Some of us are hurting because of what we have witnessed, while many of us are hurting because of what we have experienced. The truth is none of us are okay if any of us are suffering. Oftentimes, a breakdown is an opportunity for rebuilding. As we continue to respond to the ever-changing status of COVID-19 while doing our best to process the current displays of outrage and demands for justice, let us come together as a unified district committed to understanding one another, sharing in each other’s fight, and speaking for those who can’t speak, or no longer breathe, for themselves.

CCUSD Board of Eduction 

Anne Allaire

Dr. Kelly Kent 

Dr. Steve Levin

Ms. Summer McBride

Dr. Tashon McKeithan

 

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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