By Melissa Tomlinson
Black Lives Matter at school...We know this. We accept this. We want to highlight this.
Educators across the country asked themselves the same question for years. Attempts at reforming a system that has continuously whitewashed history, overlooked disparities in resources, disciplinary procedures, special education classification, identification of gifted students and ignored the push-out of teachers of color have met with minimal success.
Springboarding off of the previous work that the Caucus of Working Educators in Philadelphia and the Seattle Education Association had done around highlighting the fact that Black Lives Matter at School by incorporating thirteen Guiding Principles of the Black Lives Matter belief system, teachers across the country formed a committee to create and implement a campaign to start off this year’s Black History month. This committee chose three demands that they felt to be alignment with the Guiding Principles:
1) End zero tolerance discipline, implement restorative justice
2) Hire more Black teachers
3) Mandate Black history/Ethnic Studies, K-12
Unions and associations across the country have joined this educator-led call to action to endorse the national week of action. Currently endorsements have been issued from:
In New Jersey, the coalition members wanted to make sure that the union was not only willing to endorse the work of these educators, but also to put action into place to make sure that the work would continue. A new business item was brought before the NJEA Delegate Assembly for a vote.
No. 2 Date: January 20, 2018
Topic Black Lives Matter at School
Submitted by Melissa Tomlinson
County (or unit) Atlantic
I move that NJEA join the national call for Black Lives Matter at School Week, to be held Feb. 5-11, 2018, to help mark the celebration of Black History Month.
In support of this motion, NJEA will:
Updates, links to curriculum resources and contact information for those that wish to get involved can be found on the facebook page The National Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Our Schools.