Change the name of Lusher Charter school so that it does not honor a white supremacist.

Recent news

Our message is starting to be heard, but there is still a long way to go!

After thousands of voices (including yours!) united over the last 48 hours in calling for a long-overdue change, the Lusher administration has indicated this afternoon that they will begin the process of considering dropping the name of a known white supremacist and Confederate official from the title of the school. This is an important first step in helping ensure that the school is able to evolve into an anti-racist and nurturing environment for all of our children. We thank you for helping to generate the pressure required to get to this point. However, this initial recognition must be considered only a first, tentative move within the much longer process of self-reflection and sweeping change that will be required to create the thoughtful and inclusive place of learning these amazing students deserve. We have been working closely with the alumni group Pride of Lusher (referring to the school’s ubiquitous value set, Project Pride) to ensure that changes at the school do not stop with changing the name over the gate, but extend to combat systemic racism within the school buildings. Pride, with the help of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, has created the following list of demands for the school’s Board of Directors and administration as they move forward with this process: 1. Cease production of materials bearing the name of Robert Mills Lusher, “Lusher,” and Alcée Fortier or “Fortier” immediately. 2. Work with Pride to create an open and transparent process to rename the school by August of 2020. The process should include parents, current high school students, alumni, teachers, and school community members. 3. Allow alumni to elect TWO graduates of “Lusher” to serve on the Advocates for Arts Based Education Board for the next term and beyond. 4. Host annual mandatory anti-racist training for teachers, personnel, PTO, board members, and faculty.   - We suggest seeking support from long-standing antiracist community stakeholders like The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, or an equity audit with Beloved Community. 5. Work with Pride of Lusher to establish and evaluate processes for disciplining racist actions and practices in the “Lusher” community. Students, faculty, and staff affected by racist actions and policing within the school should be offered transformative justice or restorative justice practices, like reconciliation circles, to repair the harm caused.   - We suggest working with a Black-led organizations in New Orleans like the Center for Restorative Approaches to not only host these transformative practices, but also train interested youth in facilitating these circles themselves. 6. Create a fund for the Black Student Union and other cultural organizations, taking a small percentage from the “enrichment fee” that so many students pay full price for. We must invest in Black and Brown youth to make an equitable school. Yesterday’s article on nola.com indicates that the work of groups like Pride of Lusher, as well as concerned groups of parents, students and alumni, is starting to drive the change that our school so desperately needs. We hope that these moves indicate a much more robust series of changes to come, and look forward to helping our school emerge as the paradigm of inclusivity and distinction that the students have a right to expect.  Keep sharing the petition! Keep pushing the school in the right direction! And thank you for supporting our kids!

Vasy McCoy
2 years ago