The events of this past week have been painful. We are a community filled with a full range of emotions and responses. Rage, trauma, sadness, confusion, despair, resolve. To our Black students, families, and staff: you are seen, valued, and heard. We stand in solidarity with you.
We are a truly global village here in Tukwila, with representatives from all over the world openly sharing our experiences, histories, triumphs, and immense pride. This morning, countless Tukwila residents assembled to participate in a cleanup of areas and businesses, including a group of our own Foster High School students and building staff. Our school district and community once again speak volumes with their acts of kindness and dedication. We need this more than ever.
We want to honor George Floyd by looking closer and deeper at our own practices, assumptions, and fear, and by committing to accept and navigate discomfort rather than to comfort ourselves with expressions of convenient outrage or ignorance. Join us as this collective work must be accomplished by the entire district. We call white-identified students, families, and staff to lean in and take action towards racial and educational justice.
We as a board are committed to doing our own work until true justice and equity are achieved. Let us reaffirm that commitment to you:
We recruit, hire, support, and retain staff of color so our students see themselves accurately reflected in the educators that surround and support them
We advocate for an equitable funding system for education which is based upon student need in order to close the very large achievement and opportunity gaps based on race, income, special education, and language-learner status
We prioritize and fund Race and Equity training and encourage open and sincere dialogue at all levels of the district’s operations
We review policies and procedures using a Race and Equity toolkit, ensuring that our district is committed to addressing issues of implicit and explicit bias
Let us acknowledge that the murder and continued trauma is happening amongst a pandemic. Our Black, Indigenous, and communities of Color continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID. While we cannot physically gather at this time, we are exploring ways to come together virtually. Look for communications in the coming days announcing a forum where we can identify, examine, and map out future conversations in the 2020-2021 school year. Please join us.