AEA firmly believes that Black Lives Matter. Additionally, we believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that our Indigenous students, Black students, and our students of color receive the liberties that are afforded to them in our country.
George Floyd, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, and Dion Johnson were students in our schools. Their faces are the faces we see every day in our classrooms. As educators we make daily commitments to treat our students with respect and dignity, and we expect the police and members of our communities to do the same.
At this time we, as professionals in our public schools, must join other school leaders to focus our work to combat the historic racism that exists in our country. We have an obligation to use our collective voice to dismantle the deep roots of institutional racism that permeate our educational structure, policies, and curriculum.
The current pandemic and long-standing school discipline policies have impacted our Black students and educators in different ways than their White peers. This must be proclaimed out loud and educators must do everything they can to disrupt and combat these data proven disparities.
We know – and have shown – that it is through committed, collective movements that change can happen. The time is now to demand that change.