BUSD - Give Berkeley High Community Accountability and Leadership
This petition had 511 supporters
On December 5th, Berkeley Unified School District made the unprecedented move of abruptly placing BHS Principal Sam Pasarow on leave, and has given very little further communication on the matter. Based on this and stories in Berkeleyside and the Daily Cal, rumors are flying. The District's silence on the matter fuels these rumors, and further harms Mr. Pasarow and the community.
In the year and a half he has been at the helm of BHS, we have observed that Pasarow has done strong work in empowering our youth as leaders: he supported them as they led Black Lives Matter rallies and assemblies; he marched with them, but made it clear that they were the leaders. He did the same when they decided to rally and march in protest of our recent election results. He brought back Spirit Week and “Rally (Unity) Day” when no other administrator was willing to risk it, trusting our youth to act appropriately, but putting parent ambassadors in place to help keep students safe. He has achieved all this while emphasizing student safety.
In addition, despite many obstacles and challenges, he has entrusted and empowered staff leaders to continue the important work of school climate, community building, and the BHS redesign, work which focuses on equity and increased achievement for our students.
Our observations are that Mr. Pasarow is a solid, committed leader who has been working hard for much-needed change at Berkeley High. Oftentimes, change is unsettling and leads to resistance, misunderstandings and backlash. We are concerned that Mr. Pasarow is being treated unfairly simply for taking on these challenges.
We've observed that Mr. Pasarow consistently places student needs first; we're concerned that the District's handling of this situation puts our students’ needs last.
It is time for the District and Board to do the right thing: they must provide a solid and credible reason why Mr. Pasarow should be removed from BHS, or, lacking that, reinstate him.
Berkeley PTA Council Executive Board:
Christine Staples, President
Ramona Coates, VP of Equity and Inclusion
Tracy Hollander, VP of Legislative Advocacy
Maria Rohlsson, Secretary
Mimi Pulich, Treasurer
Tom Killilea, Communications Chair
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