Reinstate Race in America class at Amherst Central High School

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Up until a few weeks ago, ‘Race in America’ was the only course taught at Amherst Central High School regarding racism. Now, this elective has been cancelled for the 20-21 school year, leaving Amherst with no formal space for students and faculty to engage in meaningful discussions about race. This would have been unacceptable before, but considering the recent episodes of police brutality and the subsequent rise in profile of the Black Lives Matter movement, there is more of a need for this kind of course than ever before. 

To add insult to injury, the teacher of this course, Pamela Fordham, is the only African-American teacher at Amherst High School. This is the case despite African-Americans representing a large portion of the student body. As a result, if the school cancels this course, they are essentially extinguishing the most meaningful form of discourse that can occur regarding race between faculty members and students at our school. Hiring more POC teachers is certainly necessary to address this issue more comprehensively. However, the first step the administration needs to take is to reinstate the ‘Race in America’ course. In the midst of an ongoing movement to combat police brutality and systemic racism at large, failing to do so would prevent the student body from engaging with these generation-defining issues.

If you want to ensure that meaningful discussions about race continue at Amherst Central High School, please add your name to this petition so we can bring this crucial issue to the attention of the administration. 

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