Black citizens across America are speaking out against injustices happening within every area of America. Although we’re talking about improving social dynamics by ending systemic racism not everyone has a seat at the table.
Everyone is at the table about improving educational outcomes for Black students except for Black students. If senators, elected officials, and even Black women are reclaiming their time, then I believe Black students should be able to do the same.
Black students are speaking out about the injustices they’re facing in public schools.
They are doing this at a great cost. As a teacher, I see how school districts bully parents, teachers, and students who speak publicly about the injustices against Black students. One of the protests I participated in this year took place at the historic Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta. A protest started by high school seniors in Atlanta Public Schools, and recent class of 2020 graduates from Fulton, Dekalb, Clayton, and Gwinnett County Schools came to support their peers in speaking out about the injustices Black students are facing.
Although Black students are making their voices heard, they don’t have a seat at the decision making table … and they should!
A fellow educator and Griffin Spalding County school board member for District 1, Syntel Brown and I worked together on building out the idea of truly changing the old practices of governance in public schools. Amongst these practices are the belief that students should be discussed and focused on at the table, but not actually be at the table.
It’s time for this to change if we’re going to build equity for Black students in public schools.
Board member Brown has recently presented a resolution, during Education Awareness Month, for a student seat to be added to the board.
Mr. Brown is a social studies teacher. Both of us have advised the Student Government Association at our schools and are huge advocates for empowering leadership in Black students.
The resolution includes how the position would work as well as pairing the student board member with an elected school board member. The student position would be run as an election to help empower and educate our students in the local voter engagement process.
Sign the petition here for a student seat on school boards!
It’s a step in the right direction of giving Black students a voice in the equitable education they are owed!
This is a long overdue conversation. Educational advocates at the turn of the last decade advocated for students to have a voice in the policy development of public schools.
Black students were intricate leaders and a driving force of the Civil Rights, Non Violent and Black Power moments. I believe Black students of this generation will be the leaders to help bring equity to Black students that are long overdue.
For ways to support this student leadership movement, please email me at [email protected].
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.