As a former Elmwood student, I feel it is my responsibility to hold Elmwood School District accountable when teachers and administrators create, or tolerate, a harmful and unsafe environment. As a school district, you hold a moral and legal responsibility to protect children from hate of any kind, whether it is targeting their race, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religion, or nationality. Personally, I have attended events hosted by Elmwood School District and Elmwood High School where I was witness to remarks, actions, and gestures that strip this right from minority identifying students and community members, especially Black students. Now, more than ever, we need to hold each other accountable. Silence is consent.
As the center of the community, Elmwood Local Schools should not only rebuke racism, but implement plans to create an anti-racist educational environment. I am calling for Elmwood Local Schools to educate teachers and administrators on how to effectively address, and ultimately end, racism. Administrators should be expected to hold teachers accountable for not only participating in racism, but tolerating it too. In order to foster an inclusive environment, you must start by hiring diverse employees. I am asking for the Elmwood Local School Board of Education to expand job opportunities, especially administrative positions, to the public, always. In addition, I am calling for a better education for the youth that follow me. This can begin with ensuring educational anti-racist texts in each and every classroom. Resources are available for every age group, there are no excuses. As a majority white district, you must also address white privilege in Elmwood classrooms. In addition to identifying and enforcing anti-racism in the classroom, I ask the district leaders to hire speakers and event leaders to further educate and speak on cultural diversity and inclusion.
We must come together as a community to end racism. In order to do so, we must start with adult role models and the youth within our own district. We have all witnessed the events of the past week. We must acknowledge this is a matter of life or death. Children deserve better. Our community deserves better. Let's start now.