Black Lives Matter at School: A Day of Understanding and Affirmation
The Wallingford-Swarthmore School District culminated our Black History Month curricular and celebration activities by observing Friday, February 26, 2021 as Black Lives Matter at School: A Day of Understanding and Affirmation.
On January 25, 2021, the WSSD School Board passed a Resolution Regarding Black Lives Matter at School. In fulfillment of this resolution, educators and administration across the district worked together to create a day of learning opportunities to “…better educate ourselves and seek to educate the community on the historical and current impact of racism and discrimination on our students, families, and communities, as well as understand our role in perpetuating such inequity” (Resolution Supporting the Development of an Anti-Racist School Climate by the Board of Directors of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District; Approved, July 20, 2020).
This day is created to affirm the lives of black children and to promote understanding that will strengthen our community. Racial equity will not happen unless people are willing to talk about race, and this day is one important step in that process.
Dr. Lisa Palmer, superintendent of schools, wrote in her email sent to parents on January 27th:
"The Board Resolution calls on the District to “explore and confront the past, present, and future status of Black Lives in our society, and to affirm that status as equal to, and not secondary to, the lives of others.” Our educators will have choices about how to participate. We have provided Resources for creating a positive and safe classroom environment as well as meaningful classroom activities. We encourage our educators to use these resources as starting points. The most important aspect of the day is to provide safe spaces where students can engage in powerful, thoughtful, and respectful dialogue."
Thank you to our teachers, staff, and administrators for their enthusiasm, research, and preparation in embracing this day. Dr. Palmer also thanks the WSSD Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Committee and "their thoughts and passion during all of our meetings to date, and, in particular, during our last meeting (January 2021) when we discussed Black Lives Matter at School. That spark ignited us to move in this direction. We are excited that February 26, Black Lives Matter at School: A Day of Understanding and Affirmation, will culminate our Black History Month activities this year. I am hopeful that what is one day this year will be even more in the future."