BLM Press Release
The Renton Education Association has joined calls across the nation to ensure the issues being raised in Black Lives Matter protests are addressed locally. On June 8, the Renton Education Association’s Representative Council passed a motion expressing its fervent desire to work with district leadership to create meaningful and measurable changes to our society’s systemic white supremacy.
The Renton Education Association and Renton School District already have been working to develop a collaborative relationship to serve students, families, and staff with greater equity. This week’s motion demands that the district comply with the actions highlighted by Black Lives Matter At School, to end zero tolerance, mandate black history and ethnics studies, hire more black teachers, and fund counselors -- not cops.
Some of this work already is underway: Renton schools have hired 40 percent more counselors for its schools than are currently funded under state financial models, has committed to increase its hiring of local teachers and teachers of color, and will launch new diversity and equity training this fall.
While acknowledging the steps that are underway, the Rep Council wants to ensure that we do not overlook this pivotal moment in our nation’s history to focus even greater attention on the steps needed to create equality and justice for all members of our school community. Here is the full motion of the REA Rep Council.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JUNE 9, 2020
The members of the Renton Education Association--as educators and human beings--are deeply saddened and outraged by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the hundreds of black people who have been killed by police since January 1, 2020.
We stand firmly in solidarity with protestors and community members, all of whom are demanding immediate action after the most recent act of racist police murder.
We acknowledge that it is our moral responsibility to confront our own biases and invest our personal labor into making transformative changes in the systems we have allowed and helped institutionalize that have perpetuated systemic oppression, institutional racism, violence and murder of Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPoC) for far too long.
The Renton Education Association calls on Renton leaders to work with BIPoC to create a plan for dismantling systemic racism and oppression in our schools and all city departments, including law enforcement agency reform.
To begin this process, we demand the following of Renton Public Schools:
Comply with Black Lives Matter at Schools' demands to: End Zero Tolerance, Mandate Black History & Ethnics Studies, Hire More Black Teachers, Fund Counselors - Not Cops.
Provide all school employees with ongoing, high-quality anti-racism training;
Develop a transformative program to recruit, educate, mentor and retain BIPoC educators with a goal to more closely match school demographics;
Provide ample professional counseling support to all BIPoC students and educators who have experienced trauma caused by racist policies or treatment in our public schools;
We are deeply committed to the work it will take to create the anti-racist and equitable schools our students deserve.