I live within the XX school district and I'm passionate about our public schools. I wanted to connect to provide you with several resources that I feel would be of great value to your school(s) to ensure equity for all students (i.e. getting what they need, when they need it). I also have a few questions I was hoping you could answer:
Do you have an equity policy? Can you forward it to me? Or if you need support with your policy and practices, there is a great organization, https://beingblackatschool.org, that can help.
Do you post online the number of students suspended or expelled? And reasons for expulsion? If students of color are being suspended at disproportionate rates, what are you doing about it? For example, have you explored research- and evidence-based methods such as positive discipline, restorative practices and educator empathy building? To learn more about improving school climate and educator practices to end the school-to-prison pipeline, contact: http://therespectinstitute.org/
GIRLS OF COLOR
Girls are the largest growing juvenile justice population--and this is directly linked to school suspensions (OJJDP). According to National Women's Law Center: In general, schools suspend Black, Latina and American Indian/Alaskan Native girls at higher rates than white girls. Black girls are 5.5 times more likely to be suspended from school as white girls (USDOE Office for Civil Rights). "They suspend girls for minor stuff—like going against strict dress codes or 'talking back," writes NWLC. Have you reviewed the following toolkit by the center? It details how to take inventory of your policies to make sure girls of color aren't being unfairly pushed out of school. For more resources, go to: http://nwlc.org/issue/sexual-harassment-assault-in-schools/
CIVICS and U.S. HISTORY CURRICULUM
I'd encourage you to take inventory of your curriculum. Expand your pedagogy to teach the *actual* history of our country. For example, do you teach about the deep, long-lasting effects of slavery, which founding fathers were slave owners, and who resisted abolition and later the Civil Rights Movement? Are you exposing the other "hidden figures" who shaped our nation: scholars, inventors, authors or leaders who are not white men? Do you cover the historically marginalized, those who are: African American, Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern, LGBTQ, of color, immigrants or disabled Americans—for starters? To lesson plan, your team could read: "Race and Education: A Primer of Issues and Dilemmas." And this is a rich, yet free curriculum resource: https://zinnedproject.org/teaching-materials/
I appreciate the time you've taken to consider my thoughts on how to improve school equity, and hope you reply. And I'd love to support any changes that are needed to improve equity in our [school or district]. Please add me to the distribution list for public meetings and I'll be there.