On behalf of the PTA Council, I’ll be making a statement tonight regarding racism in our school district.
Recently I was given feedback from a parent that the PTA’s silence during the past few weeks on the topic of racism in our school district was hurtful and could potentially be misinterpreted by the community at large. I immediately recognized the truth in what was shared with me so, hoping to make things right, I worked with our PTAC board on a statement which we then circulated to all of our schools’ PTA presidents and VPs. After a lot of conversation and back and forth we negotiated what would be included in the statement that we could all agree upon. It was good that we went through this process and we accomplished the task but of course it’s just a beginning. we plan on continuing the conversation in our meetings going forward, especially to discuss aspects which came up but are not included in our statement here.
The statement reads…
- we know that any racist behaviors and biases, whether overt or implicit, in our children’s classroom hurts our children of color
- because all of our children observe and learn from these behaviors it can perpetuate racism in our district
- we believe that it is the responsibility of our superintendent, our BOE, teachers, staff, parents and the whole community to learn to recognize systemic and interpersonal racism and to take steps to address these situations in the moment
- our district’s policy on Educational Equity and Anti-Racism compels zero tolerance for racism in our schools and we wholeheartedly support that position
- we support the funding of anti-racism training for our teachers and all of our staff
As PTA leaders, we recognize the value we can bring engaging in conversations about race in the district. To that end…
- members of PTAC have formed an America to Me Real Talk Montclair watch and discussion group to which all our welcome
- in the fall we created a PTAC committee for Equity, Curriculum and Instruction and look forward to connecting with the district and other community leaders on how we can support our common goals in this area
- our PTAs strive to be inclusive to help make every child’s potential a reality regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, or economic status.
We welcome any additional feedback or ideas on how we can best support the Montclair school community in this endeavors.