Anti-Racism Board Resolution
A Resolution Of The Lake Oswego School Board Of Directors Condemning Racism And Committing To Being An Anti-Racist School District
WHEREAS, members of the Lake Oswego School Board, as well as the Lake Oswego School District staff, are saddened and outraged by recent events that demonstrate the prejudice and injustice that persists in our country;
WHEREAS, racism and hate have no place in our schools or our society, and we must protect the Constitutional rights of every person who lives, works and learns in our community;
WHEREAS, we cannot be silent. We urgently must act to stop the racial injustice that harms and anguishes people of color and black students in particular, who are our family, friends, neighbors, students, staff members, and fellow community members;
WHEREAS, systemic racism and racial oppression have long led to physical, political, legal, economic, and environmental harm on people of color in the United States and Oregon, specifically;
WHEREAS, we must lead. Each of us, individually and collectively, is responsible for creating and nurturing an anti-racist learning environment where every child is respected and valued for who they are, regardless of their skin color. We must actively acknowledge, address and prevent racial bias;
WHEREAS, students, parents and community members in our district have consistently reported experiencing and witnessing racism and hate speech in our schools;
WHEREAS, the Lake Oswego School District is working to be a leader on educational equity, including critically analyzing our current system, policies and practices, but we also recognize that the district has not done enough to combat racism or proactively teach anti-racism, and as a result, our students of color, and black students in particular, still regularly experience racism in our schools;
Now, therefore, be it resolved on this 22nd day of June 2020, by the Board of the Lake Oswego School District, that, the district condemns racism, racial violence, white supremacy, hate speech, and bigotry in all forms inside and outside of our schools and community, and stand steadfast in our commitment to foster an inclusive educational environment where every student, staff member, parent, and community member is treated with dignity and respect, as well as our commitment to continue fighting for racial justice and human and civil rights for all, and
- The district reaffirms commitments in the LOSD Equity Policy and will continue to strive to implement the policy; and
- The district will work to be actively anti-racist and dismantle systemic racism in our schools and empower people of color; and
- The district affirms the importance of culturally responsive practices, literature, curriculum and assignments that represent the diversity of our world, and that accurately honor the contributions of historically marginalized communities, and we acknowledge our current curriculum does not achieve this yet; we commit to using an equity lens for all future curriculum adoptions and course development, as required in board policy; and
- The district commits to continuing to require schools to track and report racist incidents in our schools in a way that both complies with privacy laws and increases transparency; and
- The district commits to dedicating time in schools for professional development, culturally responsive training, book studies, for celebrations of diversity on behalf of people of color, for critical conversations among staff and with students, and establishing community partnerships to support this work; and
- The district believes that having a diverse faculty and staff reflective of the demographics of the community, country and world, provides significant value to students of color and all students and adults, and will commit to put practices in place that will lead to a more diverse workforce.
ADOPTED this 22nd day of June, 2020
BOARD APPOINTED COMMITTEE ON DIVERSITY EQUITY AND INCLUSION (April 3, 2018)
Background: Issues of diversity, equity and inclusion are the top priority for the Lake Oswego School District as identified as Goal 1 of the Strategic Plan. The community should be leveraged as an ally in this work.
The Lake Oswego School Board will create a standing committee focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Committee membership will be offered, but not limited to, representation by the student body, representative of the teaching faculty, representative of the classified employees, representatives of the district administration, parent representation and community representatives.
The district currently has an Equity Leadership Team and will appoint additional members to have comprehensive representation.
The committee will provide a platform for the community to come together to assemble recommendations for the LO School Board to develop and adopt a Five Year Equity Plan for the LO Public Schools.
Elements that should be considered for the plan may include:
- Examine data and best practices from peer school districts
- Audit district policies with an equity lens
- Assess and recommend consistent policies regarding diversity, equity and inclusion
- Assess and highlight best practices for embedding equity into curriculum and practice
- Highlight and award community members, students, or staff who are doing exceptional work in these efforts
- Provide engaging partnerships with the community
- Assess strategy for staff hiring and on-boarding through an equity lens