Teachers Undoing Racism Organizes Week of Action

Teachers Undoing Racism Organizes Week of Action
Posted on 03/06/2019
For the second year, TURN (Teachers Undoing Racism Now!) organized for the Black Lives Matter Week of Action in School. Last year’s events mainly took place during the evening hours. To get more student, teacher and staff involvement in the week of action this year, a general outline for the week was sent to teachers and staff to have discussions around topics related to four BLM demands: 1. An end to racial disparities in discipline in Montclair schools and the enactment of restorative practices.  2. The district increase student and caregiver awareness of the Amistad Law and that they ensure its full implementation. 3. The increased hiring and improved retention of Black teachers in Montclair schools.  4. Montclair Public Schools hire more counselors throughout the district. Fund counselors, not cops.

teachers holding signs

Renaissance Middle School had 40 staff members and teachers participate in the Black Lives Matter in School Week of Action (BLM in school T-Shirt Day took place on Feb. 8). All week, teachers held discussions in their classrooms around the 13 guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter Movement and the four national demands for all schools in the U.S. TURN localized the demands to fit the conditions of the Montclair School District. The discussions were very productive. "Thanks to all students, staff members and teachers for their thought provoking work during the week," said Rodney Jackson, co-founder of TURN and Renaissance social studies teacher.

Glenfield teachers and staff made t-shirts with Black Lives Matter in School Week of Action logo printed on the front.  53 teachers and staff participated with the help of art teacher Deborah Comeau.  Hillside Elementary School had 25 teachers organized by aide Sally Solo. Brian Ford, Montclair High School social studies teacher had 25 teachers wear t-shirts in support of the issues being raised by the Week of Action. "It’s very important to note that although some teachers did not have t-shirts, they were still participating in the week of action by holding discussions in their classrooms," said Jackson. "Let's continue this important work!"
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