The National Day of Action is on Thursday, October 6th. Here's what is happening in Seattle schools:
- Wearing red
- Creating posters about what items your school community has bought in support of your school especially around back-to-school supplies
- Gathering a team from each school with 4-5 educators and parents/families
- Bringing the Poster and your school team to the closest town hall meeting that day, either at Roosevelt HS or Washington MS libraries from 4-5 pm.
SEA has confirmed several of our Seattle legislators to be in attendance for the town halls.
I think this is a terrific idea so legislators know just how much investment parents/families are making at our schools.
Also, on September 19th, the SEA made this announcement:
Last night the Seattle Education Association rep assembly unanimously passed a resolution to support educators in a coordinated action to wear Black Lives Matter t-shirts at work on October 19th. We do this to affirm black lives in Seattle Public Schools and in support of the educators at John Muir Elementary.I did ask the district about this and what teachers can or cannot wear to school. Here was the reply:
We respect our teachers' rights and desire to express themselves. Teachers have first amendment rights in the classroom but this right may be limited by a school district, especially if a shirt creates a disruption to the educational environment or is profane.Another question I had was this:
How does the district view Black Lives Matter group? Is it a political movement? Another African-American group?
As a district we are united in our commitment to eliminating opportunity gaps for African American students and other students of color.
Does the District believe that teachers wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts is the only way that teachers or SPS can "affirm black lives?"So, as you can see, the district is not really going to give a direct answer to those questions on why this particular group or method for affirming black lives.
Affirming students happens every day in our classrooms and we are working to get better at it. This year we are focused on four key strategies: positive learning, positive beliefs, positive partnerships and positive relationships. On Sept 1 we held the first district-wide professional development day for all teachers in partnership with SEA. The focus was on building positive student-educator relationships. This was also the focus of the events at John Muir and Leshi Elementary.
I am going to write an thread on the larger vision I believe is happening in the district around race and equity. I will say that the October 19th event could prove problematic for the district once the press gets involved.