The snow in Seattle has disrupted planned activities a bit, but that didn’t stop the Seattle Council PTSA board from voting in a video-conferenced board meeting on Monday to reaffirm our resolution in support of the Black Lives Matter at School movement. We stand with the youth of the NAACP Youth Coalition and hope to see many PTA members at the school board meeting tomorrow as they bring their demands for Black and ethnic studies and more to the board and administration of Seattle Public Schools.
Black Lives Matter at School began in Seattle in the fall of 2016, when John Muir Elementary created t-shirts and planned a welcoming event at their school to stand together for Black students. After receiving hate mail at the school and central offices (including a bomb threat) instead of backing down, Seattle Education Association (SEA) reps voted to stand in solidarity with the John Muir community and students across the Seattle school district. On October 19, 2016, thousands of teachers, parents, and students showed their support for Black Lives Matter and SCPTSA was there with them:
The Seattle Council PTSA Board endorses and will participate in the day of action on October 19th in solidarity with educators and families. We are committed to continuing the conversation on racial equity in our schools and communities in support of all our students and in support of the district’s efforts to close opportunity gaps. The PTA welcomes all families and speaks up for every child. We will extend our support of this action to the local school PTAs and PTSAs through the lens of family engagement. We are a resource for the local units to strengthen their support of and engagement with all families in their school community, so that every child in Seattle Public Schools has the tools to succeed. - Statement prepared October 12, 2016 by SCPTSA President Sebrena Burr and SCPTSA Vice President Eliza Rankin
As a board, we are proud to participate in and support what is now a week of action, and reaffirm the longer resolution adopted by our general membership in February 2018. This is critical work in engaging families, supporting educators, setting students up for success, and making our schools safe and affirming places for all students.
Our equity resolution also can be used as a tool for local units to engage with and commit to racial equity work. We encourage local PTAs and educators to find a way to make time for the lessons and activities that were missed this week due to snow days, so that we can all benefit from the thoughtful labor that went into the curriculum, and consider adopting the equity resolution and/or the Black Lives Matter at School resolution as a school PTA to continue to push this important work forward in our school communities.