Advocate for Social Justice at Homestead High School

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We are calling for Homestead High School (HHS) to incorporate social justice issues into the curriculum as well as share its progress in faculty training with the community and expand on it. We ask that Homestead High School creates productive spaces for an open conversation on social justice topics and puts forth a clear plan of action to address when faculty and students direct hateful actions, words, and microaggressions towards minorities.

The HHS mission statement as seen on the website is “to equip all students with transferable skills, promote academic independence, foster social responsibility, and inspire a passion for learning.” Social responsibility cannot be fostered in an environment that does not actively work to protect minority students and engage in important conversations relating to social justice with all students. 

As HHS alumni and current students, we have realized that topics such as systemic racism, privilege, black history, indigenous history, cultural appropriation, and other social injustices are not thoroughly addressed in the curriculum. Furthermore, the Homestead curriculum often ignores important nuances in topics such as the civil rights movement, Native American history, and more. Many of us have taken the initiative to educate ourselves about these topics, and now we are calling for Homestead to take the initiative to educate its students. 

This is not a political issue, this is a human rights issue. To label this as a political topic sends a message that Homestead does not value the lives of its minority students. To ignore this initiative because of fear from community backlash means that Homestead is ignoring the hardships its minority students face on a daily basis. These are tough conversations to have, but they must be addressed so Homestead creates an accepting environment for its students regardless of religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, class, and ethnic background. 

We want more than one guest speaker each year. We want more than assemblies.

We want:

1)The formation of a clear educational initiative that addresses social justice topics in the classroom, and includes an accurate BIPOC perspective of academic subjects. While this curriculum is in progress, Homestead will commit to regularly bringing in BIPOC activists, writers, historians, and other professionals to engage with students on these issues. 

2)Expansion on training programs that prepare faculty to recognize hate speech and microaggressions in the classroom and react appropriately, and transparency with the community about them. 

3) Spaces where minority students feel comfortable openly expressing their experiences without being dismissed. 

4) A plan of action that holds faculty and students accountable for any hate speech and actions against minorities. 

5) Homestead makes a lifelong commitment to making its curriculum inclusive of accurate BIPOC history and continues to actively engage in improving based on these demands, and beyond them. 

It is not the responsibility of minority students to educate their peers and faculty on this. It is the job of the administration to educate every student and faculty member about topics that are relevant to today’s society, topics that result in minority lives being lost. The effects of this go beyond Homestead walls and equip students with the knowledge they need to be socially responsible in all settings. This isn’t about pointing fingers at people who make mistakes, this is about making sure students and faculty are aware of and learn from their mistakes in order to grow and become more socially aware. 

Homestead is a great school, and we know it has the potential to become even greater by fostering social responsibility in all its students. 

Thank you for reading and we ask that you share this petition with Homestead students, alumni, faculty, staff, and families.

There is also another petition calling for action against a Homestead boy who was caught on camera mocking the death of George Floyd. We ask you to read, sign, and share this petition as well: Petition Link

There is also another petition calling on MTSD to implement district-wide changes. We ask that you read, sign and share this petition as well: MTSD Petition