Newfield Central School District Must Commit to Anti-Racist Education

Newfield Central School District Must Commit to Anti-Racist Education

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Lena Kennell started this petition to Newfield Central School Board of Education

Students of color at Newfield Central School have been berated, silenced, threatened, and attacked physically, vocally, and virtually. The administration has chosen to sweep racial issues under the rug, allowing racist students to remain in school, play on sports teams, participate in National Honors Society, and have disciplinary records do not mention their racist actions. Racist students carry confederate flags, terrorize POC online, consistently use racial slurs, and are often able to speak openly in classrooms and hallways. Black students have also described experiences where teachers have made racist "jokes." 

The school has failed to address the race issues at Newfield for far too long. Measurable change and accountability is necessary. There needs to be a cultural change at a fundamental level. And while the school cannot control what students are taught in their own homes, the school is responsible for providing its students with a complete and conscious education in the classroom. Newfield Central School is also responsible for holding students who use hate speech or commit violence against students of color accountable.  Actively racist students show the inadequacy of the current curriculum and policies. We know how great Newfield can be. We want to create a culture of defined respect and raise a generation of conscious kids. Below are our demands.

1)  Newfield School District should release a statement by January 21st, 2020 setting out any and all steps already taken to address equity issues within the school district, and what steps are scheduled for 2021.  

2) The Newfield School District should establish an equity task-force made up of Board of Education members, administrators, staff, teachers, students, caregivers and community members charged with designing an Equity Plan for the Newfield School District and overseeing implementation of those recommendations.   These recommendations must include new opportunities for professional development on issues of race and equity and the implementation of anti-marginalization curriculum throughout grade levels.

3) The Newfield Board of Education should immediately make recordings of their meetings available on their website in order to encourage transparency and community participation.


4)  The Newfield School District should publish data related to student discipline by demographic within its district. This data should include disciplinary infractions based on race/ethnicity, what type of disciplinary infractions occurred, whether there was hate speech involved, and any other relevant data points.   


5) The Newfield School District should update their student handbook to include specific language regarding their zero-tolerance policy on hate speech.

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