Bronxville School Reform
Bronxville School Reform
This is a call to action for all Bronxville students, alumni, parents, and educators who yearn for antiracist curriculum reforms and a school culture free from racial harassment in one of our nation’s highest ranked, wealthiest and whitest middle and high schools. Please sign this petition to show that these reforms are important and imperative.
- To our teachers, both English literature and history, we express our deepest gratitude for investing in our development, and articulate a shared frustration over inherited materials such as textbooks and other restrictive aspects of our educational system.
- To parents, an applicant’s racial literacy is a prerequisite in today’s hyper-competitive college process and college admissions require critical and empathic thinking towards the racial justice challenges of our time.
- To administrators, as fiduciaries with obligations to care for all our young people, we hope this serves as a call for bold leadership to the responsibility schools have towards internal reforms happening across the country.
In the following petition, we synthesize the publicly-available curriculum material on Bronxville’s website, as well as responses from a unscientific survey taken by over 220 current and former Bronxville students spanning decades. We find a collective frustration and indignation around a 6-12th grade learning enterprise that fails in fundamental ways:
- Completely anti-Black English curriculum in which Black men’s voices are trivialized and Black women’s are completely non-existent
- History courses that leave students unprepared and uncritical to address the racial challenges of today
- A racially hostile learning atmosphere rooted in racial illiteracy, ignorance and apathy leading to pervasive, normalized and unchallenged racial discrimination and harassment among its student-body.
To both repair and rebuild the academic, community and interpersonal fabric of the Bronxville School, and uphold its legal and civic mandates under the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), we demand the following reforms be implemented:
- Make mandatory a course that comprehensively covers the construction and evolution of race and racism in America.
- Overhaul the current English and history curriculum to include diverse voices in line with the contemporary literary canon, as well as more accurate educational materials that include Bronxville’s own historical and continued role in our inherited socio-economic and racial realities.
- Hire more Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) Teachers
- Provide ongoing mandatory professional development for educators on race, racism, and racial injustice and equity.
- Build extracurricular enrichment programs that promote mutual, cross-cultural education among the student-body and our neighboring communities.
- Carve out space for mandatory guest speakers and facilitators to inspire internal, constructive school dialogue and critical self-reflection relevant to the social patterns of racial exclusion, harassment and bullying behavior that form among the student-body.
Guiding our ambitions and aspirations is a fundamental truth: to meet the great challenges our country continues to face, as well as the hyper-competitive demands of colleges today, our educational infrastructure must evolve. We hope this petition can serve as a roadmap for such evolution that will require the involvement of all our community's stakeholders, especially our dedicated teachers.
Please review the entire petition here.