June 11 (Boston) — Educators for Excellence-Boston (E4E-Boston) stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the global uprisings against police brutality, white supremacy and anti-blackness. Boston Public School (BPS) students are enduring a global pandemic within a racial pandemic. After months of traumatic events, students need to be able to return to schools that have taken bold steps towards anti-racism by demilitarizing, investing in community and quality learning.
- Remove metal detectors in all BPS schools;
- Remove School Resource Officers (SROs), Boston Police Department (BPD) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in schools and redistribute funding to hire full-time family and community liaisons, counselors and nurses;
- Implement anti-racism training for all BPS staff with an emphasis on restorative practices and educating black and brown students, including undocumented students, with great belief in their potential and their cultural and linguistic assets; and
- Create a formal pipeline for BPS graduates to become family liaisons and mental health professionals, so that they reflect the communities they serve.
"If we want to stop the school-to-prison pipeline, it behooves us to transform schools from feeling like a prison into a more optimal learning environment,” said E4E-Boston member Joellen Persad, a science teacher at Madison Park Vocational Technical High School. “These four guidelines create a plan of action, including the necessary training required for adults to treat and view the student as a whole person instead of an imminent inmate."
“These changes are a no-brainer — America’s school systems are failing many of their students,” said E4E-Boston member Tyrell Adeyemi, an English teacher at Madison Park Vocational Technical High School. “You can look at the increase in dropout rates, the continuous decline in reading comprehension, and the lack of life skills students possess upon graduation as evidence of this. This is occurring because school systems are operating with an industrial approach instead of a humanized approach.”
“Now is the time to take bold steps. The first step is to demilitarize our schools before we reopen to ensure our students know we are here to teach them, not police them,” said Sarah Iddrissu, Executive Director of E4E-Boston. “Our budgets and our buildings need to send a clear message that we value learning and community, not policing and prisons.”