With the recent events of Covid 19 and in the wake of the lynching deaths of Ahmaud Abery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks along with the recent racial events here in the Northampton Public Schools, NASE is taking action and recommending that the Northampton Public Schools diligently work with us so that we can become a community that genuinely cares for each other. We need, as a school community, to strive to be better than not being “racist”. That is not enough. We need to become ANTI-RACIST.
With strong support from our statewide union, we will be working to make anti-racism part of our school culture in terms of curriculum in addition to systematic policies and practices.
Culturally responsive teaching must be a part of daily practice. There should not be a indigenous history month, or a black history month, it should be embedded in what we teach every day.
We need to learn and practice restorative justice in our schools. This is important. It allows for true healing and understanding. When implemented correctly, restorative justice has proven to decrease repeat infractions, improve school climate and safety, and empower at-risk students to solve issues in a productive way, which will inherently help reduce the school-to-prison pipeline within the Northampton Public Schools. Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline is a critical goal.
Our faculty and staff all need continuous, in-depth, anti-racist training to accomplish all of this and our BIPOC educators need a space to process their experiences and ideas together.
Here in Northampton, we know there is support for these efforts and we must make them our collective priority. NASE is committed to and has started doing this work. We will continue so that we can be the learning community that is equitable, fair, and supportive for all of its members and that provides working and learning conditions that we know help society flourish.