A Word on Diversity Education: A Petition for the DTSD Community

A Word on Diversity Education: A Petition for the DTSD Community

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Lindsay Abel, Kathryn Kinney, and Natalie Norman-Kehe started this petition to Derry Township School District

The Derry Township School District needs to understand that parents, students, and community members value diversity education within the school district. 

It should not take another murder of a Black person at the hands of a police officer for some Americans to realize the racial injustices present within our country. However, we can use this as an opportunity to reflect on injustices within our own communities.

We would like to take a moment to acknowledge George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and every other man, woman, and child whose lives were taken at the hands of police brutality. Their lives should never be forgotten, and we should take this opportunity to implement changes in their honor. Their deaths shed light on the failures of our education system.  

During our time as students at Hershey, we seldom learned about the injustices that Black people face daily. The curriculum that we were taught was a misconstrued narrative of the Black American experience which claimed that Black people in this country were made unequivocally equal after the Civil Rights Movement. Additionally, we rarely read books by Black authors or authors of color in general. If the Derry Township School District truly wants to foster a community free from racism and discrimination, they must provide their students the resources and education needed to be an ally to Black people and People of Color. 

The Derry Township School District must commit to the inclusion of diversity and multicultural education within the curriculum of History and English courses at Hershey Elementary, Middle, and High Schools.  Books by Black authors should be read in English classes. Teachers should foster conversations with students about White privilege. Exercises intended to uncover unconscious biases and prejudices should be implemented. The current curriculum used to teach students about the Black American experience in History courses needs to be restructured. Black speakers should be invited to Hershey to allow students to hear first-hand experiences of People of Color. The school district should also focus less on European History curriculum and instead focus on African, Asian, Hispanic, Latino, and Native American History. Hershey must provide their students with the opportunity to grow as a citizen in a multicultural community and country.

The Derry Township School District must also commit to providing all teachers with ongoing diversity and unconscious bias training.  As the DTSD community continues to diversify, educators must be trained to appropriately respond to multiculturalism within their own classrooms. To properly teach students about diversity, our teachers must first be trained to effectively educate students of all ages about the experiences of Black people and People of Color within this country. This includes training seminars that allow educators to uncover their own unconscious racial biases. Providing proper resources and training will allow DTSD educators to better educate their students about diversity and be significantly more prepared to foster an inclusive community of learners. 

The Derry Township School District administrators must acknowledge and consider that parents, students, and community members value diversity education within the school district.  Please sign this petition if you believe DTSD should commit to providing students and educators the resources, curriculum, and training necessary to learn about diversity and the experiences of Black people and People of Color in this country. The most important way to combat racism in this country is to start by systematically educating students from the ground up. Change is dependent on properly educating our future generations; change starts here.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!
At 7,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!