The Robbinsdale Area School Board unanimously approved a resolution supporting racial and social justice in safe and civil schools at the School Board meeting on Monday, July 20, 2020. The resolution outlines the beliefs held by the school board, including nurturing anti-racist educational learning environments, while condemning hateful speech and systemic racism directed at Black, Indigenous and all people of color.
“Embedded in this [resolution] is recognition of the emotional toll all of this collectively has had on the community,” School Board Vice Chair Helen Bassett said during Monday’s meeting. The comprehensive resolution reflects the policy role of the board, Bassett said.
The resolution was first drafted several months ago by Bassett, in response to derogatory comments and stereotypes relative to COVID-19. Local events in late May and June changed the direction of the board subcommittee, consisting of Bassett, Director Mike Herring and Director John Vento. “This gave us an opportunity to truly reflect on not only the impact of what George Floyd’s murder was, but overall for our
community and what they’re going through,” Director Vento said at the meeting.
Director Sherry Tyrrell stated, “It’s good to see us taking a step forward in the work that we’re doing to make sure that all of our students feel welcomed, are welcomed, and our parents feel that too.”
The resolution makes a further commitment to “establish a District policy review and adoption process that integrates the lens of the District Equity Policy” while “working together to institute School Board goals, policies, and district educational curriculum that reflect the values expressed in this resolution, guided by our district’s Unified Vision and Equity Policy.”
“I think we need to live it, we need to act it ... so that we are really living this effort to have racial and social justice in our district,” said Board Director Pam Lindberg.
Independent Area School District 281 School Board
Supporting Racial and Social Justice in Safe & Civil Schools
Through the Robbinsdale Area Schools Unified District Vision & Equity Policy
Unanimously approved and adopted on July 20, 2020
WHEREAS, The education and safety of the children of Robbinsdale Area Public Schools (ISD 281) are our top priorities; and
WHEREAS, The Robbinsdale Area School Board is committed to the success of all students by providing a safe, secure and supportive school district; and
WHEREAS, The murder of George Floyd and surrounding events have had a profound impression on the students and families of Robbinsdale Area Schools; and
WHEREAS, As leaders of ISD 281, we must speak out in response to these recent national and local events that have called attention to racist attitudes and actions, and societal race-based disparities, and other forms of systemic racism which has a profound impact on our students, families, staff, and community; and
WHEREAS, Students and families are expressing fear, sadness, uncertainty, and concerns for their safety, and
WHEREAS, We are responsible for nurturing anti-racist educational learning environments where all children are respected and valued for who they are regardless of skin color, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability or disability, immigration status, religion or any other category; and
WHEREAS, Providing a safe and supportive school environment that ensures the physical and emotional safety of students and staff creates the conditions necessary to foster academic achievement:
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that Robbinsdale Area School Board:
1. Condemns all hateful speech and systemic racism directed at Black, Indigenous and all people of color;
2. Condemns all manifestations or expressions of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, scapegoating, and ethnic or racial intolerance;
3. Commits to fostering a school environment that promotes respect for and curiosity about all cultures, affirms the equal humanity of all members of our staff, students, the community, and rejects all forms of bullying and discrimination;
4. Commits to establish a District policy review and adoption process that integrates the lens of the District Equity Policy; and
5. Commits to working together to institute School Board goals, policies, and district educational curriculum that reflect the values expressed in this resolution, guided by our district’s Unified Vision and Equity Policy.