BATs Statement About Racism in Public Schools
Today Shaun King wrote a powerful piece titled “America’s Schools Must Have Zero Tolerance for Racism.” This is a must read for all involved in education and society. Here is the link http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/king-america-schools-zero-tolerance-racism-article-1.2928823
Please sign and share this petition that will be delivered to NYS Commissioner of Education Elia calling for the removal of Carl Paladino https://www.change.org/p/commissioner-of-education-of-the-state-of-new-york-maryellen-elia-remove-carl-paladino-from-the-buffalo-school-board
If public schools are to ever become the Great Equalizer they were destined to be, it is the duty of every public school teacher, administrator, employee, Board of Education member and supporter to recognize how the institution of public education was used to create and maintain racist and classist divisions. Teachers, administrators, employees, and Board of Education members must pledge to eradicate racism from the institution of public education. This acknowledgement and acceptance of our faults must first come so that we may join together to address these wrongs and work towards removing the parts of our system that are still in place that serve to marginalize and disenfranchise too many of our students.
People from all walks of life must come together so that we might do this necessary work in a meaningful and authentic way in an effort to dismantle a system that is embedded with racism and in its place build something beautiful for all people. Teachers, students, parents, community members, administrators, and school board members will need to take part in some very uncomfortable conversations to analyze all aspects of Public Education with special attention to policies and practices that disproportionately affect students of color and those living in poverty. We need to be mindful of the danger of placing the blame and finger-pointing towards just one part of the system. If the whole system is not addressed, we will not be able to create the deep systemic change that is needed to really improve our schools to educate the children in front of us as well as the generations that follow.
We need a system of Public Education that acknowledges the inherent worth and potential of every child and strives to support them as they pursue their passions and develop their strengths. Currently, our system of Public Education does not provide all children with this opportunity. Children fortunate to be born to parents of the right skin color who live in the best zip codes often attend public schools that have more resources, the most experienced teachers, and state of the art facilities, while children born to low-income families of color attend public schools that prepare them to assume their place in society as inferior and undeserving of rich experiences. The fact that some children fall from their pre-determined spot on top the ladder of success and others climb up from the low rungs of the fated lower class, does not negate the existence of this system. If we truly believe in the power of Public Education then we must accept this failure as our responsibility to fix.
Please also join BATs in pushing to remove Carl Paladino from the Buffalo School Board - Here is the article and numbers to demand his removal for racist comments towards the First Lady and the President written by BATs Action Team Co-Director Dr. Michael Flanagan. http://badassteachers.blogspot.com/2016/12/how-is-carl-paladino-still-on-buffalo.html