For the last two years, Seattle Public School educators throughout the district worked together with colleagues, parents and families, community members, and students to make a statement that Black Lives Matter by wearing a BLM t-shirt and teaching lessons and holding events that recognized and honored Black Lives. Many other cities across the United States also collaborated and organized in solidarity.
For the third year, educators from those cities and many more have come together to organize a Nationwide Black Lives Matter at Schools Week again. According to TeachingforChange.org, “the goal of Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools is to spark an ongoing movement of critical reflection and honest conversation in school communities for people of all ages to engage with critical issues of racial justice.” In order to help with this goal, the CRE is providing the following resources:
- List of curriculum and resources available — Explore the curriculum and resources to be used in the classroom.
- Updates on various Seattle Schools’ participation — Find ideas of what your school and you can do to participate in the Black Lives Matter in School week.
From the blacklivesmatteratschool.com website: “…educators in the BLM at School movement developed these demands for the movement:
- End “zero tolerance” discipline, and implement restorative justice
- Hire more black teachers
- Mandate black history and ethnic studies in K-12 curriculum
- Counselors not cops”
The lessons that educators taught during that week of action corresponded to the thirteen guiding principles of Black Lives Matter:
- Monday: Restorative Justice, Empathy and Loving Engagement
- Tuesday: Diversity and Globalism
- Wednesday: Trans-Affirming, Queer Affirming and Collective Value
- Thursday: Intergenerational, Black Families and Black Villages
- Friday: Black Women and Unapologetically Black
There are multiple ways to participate and join the educators nationwide in solidarity.
- Supplement planned lessons with resources, materials, or concepts that connect with the themes or the movement (resources available on the SEA CRE Black Lives Matter page)
- Engage in conversations with colleagues about the ways that students know that black lives matter.
- Self-study topics that increase your understanding and awareness of the BLM movement and of critical race theory.
- Purchase a BLM t-shirt and wear it on Monday and Friday of BLM week
- Become a supporting member of the SEA Center for Racial Equity by signing up for monthly contributions.
Thank you for your continued hard work and dedication to supporting our students.
Director, SEA Center for Racial Equity
NBI on BLM Week passed by the Seattle Education Association Representative Assembly in December 2018
Whereas the Seattle Education Association has taken a national leadership role in the Black Lives Matter at School movement, now inspiring dozens of major cities to join us in our movement for change,
Whereas there are far too few Black educators and educators of color in proportion to the number of students of color in the schools,
Whereas zero tolerance discipline and over-policing of our youth has proven to be ineffective in the reduction of discipline, and Restorative Practices has proven to be a powerful tool in the reduction of disproportionate discipline,
Whereas according to the Washington Post this year there have been 802 police involved killings, including 484 People of Color,
Whereas the creation and implementation of an Ethnic Studies curriculum is of critical importance to supporting the diversity of our students and is currently in development in Seattle Public Schools,
Whereas the Seattle Education Association RA unanimously voted to support a mandatory K-12 Ethnic Studies curriculum in SPS,
Be it resolved that for a third consecutive year, the Seattle Education Association join the national call for Black Lives Matter at School Week to kick off Black History Month during February 4th to February 9th.
Be it further resolved that SEA encourage its members to wear Black Lives Matter shirts to school on Monday and Friday of that week and teach lessons during the week about undoing institutional racism and the 13 principles of the #BlackLivesMatter Global Network.
Be it further resolved that SEA will send email reminders to its membership encouraging educators to join the Black Lives Matter at School rally at the School Board meeting on Wednesday, February 6th to advocate for hiring more Black Teachers, implementing restorative justice programs, and fully implementing ethnic studies in the Seattle Public Schools.