Stillwater Schools Vow To ‘Do Better’ In Fight Against Racism | #students | #parents

STILLWATER, MN — The leaders of Stillwater Area Schools are vowing to “do better” on the issues of racism and systemic injustice in the district. In a July 10 statement, officials acknowledged that “recent events have made it painfully clear that we are all falling short,” referring in part to an open letter written by Black alumni and students on past and ongoing racism in the district.

The “Open Letter to District 834” was published June 9, following the death of George Floyd and the international protests demanding racial justice that followed.

District officials say that they’ve taken the following steps based on community feedback:

We’ve met with current and alumni students to discuss an open letter they authored and consider ways we can work together to move the district forward.

Administrators and school board members are actively listening to our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) students and families as part of virtual “circles,” which are taking place each week. Based on restorative practices, the circles give individuals a safe place to share their stories.

A district cultural liaison is being hired to advocate for equity and inclusion, and empower and support families to promote student academic success.

We’re partnering with an equity consultant to consider where we are as a community and where we want to go together. The consultant will offer a neutral, unbiased look at our district and help build bridges between our staff and community.

We’re expanding our professional development efforts to ensure all of our staff have meaningful and relevant training in cultural competency.

We’re ensuring every decision we make is made with equity in mind – from where we spend our money to what curriculum we teach.

The district says it’s also embedding the strategies of Reimagine Minnesota into its work.

Read the Open Letter to District 83 here.

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