The largest school district in the state of Washington spent the day Wednesday holding rallies, promoting racial equity in schools, and talking about institutional racism and black history.
The organizer of the event, a history teacher at Garfield High, said: “The day of action also offers opportunities to address racial inequities in Seattle schools.”
Educators, students and parents across Seattle public schools, participated in the rallies wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts. Some of the shirts that were handed out had #sayhername on them, a reference to Sandra Bland, who committed suicide while in a Texas jail.
Police groups have criticized Wednesday’s event, saying it’s inappropriate for public employees to be pushing a political message. It also furthers the false narrative that law enforcement as a whole, is a racist institution in America.
That didn’t stop one mother who brought her 6-year-old daughter to a local elementary school to show support for the movement.
“I feel like it’s my duty as a parent of a student in public schools, and someone who lives life with empathy, to get involved,” said Victoria Nunes. “It’s a conscious-raising event. Schools are part of society. This is what’s happening in society, and it deserves and demands our attention,” she added.
According to SFGATE, “About 53 percent of the district’s 53,000 students are non-white, with blacks making up the largest minority group at 16 percent.”
Organizer Jesse Hagopian told a local radio station: “It’s also important to understand that for black lives to matter, black education has to matter.”
He went on to say, “This movement is also broader than police accountability. In a school system as dramatically unequal as ours, it’s incumbent upon educators and families to stand up and say something about this.”
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