A Reader Asks Some Questions About BLM in Seattle Schools

I am reaching out to gain a better understanding of the intentions behind the implementation of the National Black Lives Matter at School Week within the Seattle Public School (SPS) framework; an initiative that I believe holds significant importance in educating our students on the values of equity, justice and inclusion.

However, I have concerns regarding certain aspects of the curriculum that have been associated with anti-Semitism, particularly the discussions around the topic of "Freeing Palestine".
 It is essential for me to understand how these components were selected and the extent of community engagement in the process, especially considering the sensitive nature of this subject. 
I also seek clarification around curriculum adoption via a private entity without the support of a Curriculum and Instruction Committee. 

Given the significance of educational programs in gaping perspectives and fostering an inclusive environment, it is crucial to address any concerns that arise from these initiatives. 
Recently, there have been discussions within the community about the potential inclusion of rhetoric that could be perceived as supporting antisemitism under the guise of educational activities. It is a sensitive issue, and I believe it may be based on lack of clear communication about the goals and contentions.

It is worth noting that the National Black Lives Matter at School week began within Seattle Public Schools in 2016.

Could you please provide clarity on the following points:

1. Why has the board allowed a private entity to provide curriculum to Seattle Public Schools?  Did the Seattle School Board go through a process to formally adopt the National Black Week at Schools curriculum? 

2. How  does SPS ensure that the content and activities during the week promote inclusivity and respect for all students, including those of Jewish faith or heritage?

3. What measures are in place to prevent the spread of any form of hate speech or antisemitism under educational activities?

4. Are there opportunities  for parents and community members to engage with or learn about the curriculum and activities planned for the week?

5.  As national BLM is a private entity, what mechanisms are in place to ensure transparency and accountability in how the curriculum reflects the diverse perspectives within our community? I believe in the importance of creating an educational environment that fosters understanding, respect, and inclusivity for all students. It is crucial that such initiatives are implemented thoughtfully and with comprehensive community involvement to ensure they enrich our students' learning experiences without inadvertently promoting division or bias.

6. Does the board have any intention to bring back the Curriculum and Instruction Committee to assure transparency and opportunity for public input?

7. How does the board differentiate between education, perspective and political rhetoric?

Understanding the district's stance and the measures in place to foster an environment of respect and inclusivity for all students is paramount. I believe that an open dialogue is essential in addressing any concerns and strengthening our community 

On January 22, 2022, Director Brandon Hersey brought forth a resolution affirming the demands of the National Black Lives Matter At School Movement.  The resolution affirms the demands of Black Lives Matter at School Movement from 2020-2023.

Dr. Jones affirms support for National Black Lives Matter at School during his opening comments, but the board did not sign a resolution in 2024 supporting National Black Lives Matter at School Week. Why wasn't a formal resolution signed?


Benjamin Lukoff said…
Excellent questions. Will anyone answer?

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