Community Coalition on Race Statement on the Plight of the School District

As an organization committed to fostering racial equity and integration in our community, the Community Coalition on Race stands firm in our mission to build a truly inclusive environment where individuals of all races and backgrounds can thrive. We make this statement considering the current divisive environment that is harming our students and potentially undermining the progress made in this community if we do not immediately begin to focus and implement solutions mindful of the common good.

We believe an integrated and equitable education is a community-sustaining moral imperative that is at great risk right now. We face uncertainty in administrative leadership. We are concerned about the school budget deficit and its effect on our efforts in intentional integration and decreasing the racial achievement gap. We stand in strong opposition to the divisiveness that continues to adversely impact our students, and that has led to, among other things, the arrest of one of our educators, and what feels like a violation of the public trust we place in you, our elected leaders. Right now, the community is suffering, and we must all act in a constructive manner to address this collective pain.

We urge the Board of Education to immediately address the situation in a manner that centers the best interest of ALL District students — by supporting teachers and administrators who are dedicated to creating inclusive learning environments that provide opportunities for all students to excel. To be clear: the continued success of integration in our towns is dependent on the success of our schools in providing an excellent and equitable educational experience for all families.

This community cannot afford to pause or abandon our work on racial equity in schools because of the dysfunction of the board. Let us remain focused on the well-being and success of all students, and work towards a future where our community can serve as a model for inclusivity and equity for our state and nation.

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