We represent many students in our community who are deeply outraged by the ongoing racial injustices occurring in our country. It is our belief that diversity in educational environments and curriculum is a step forward in addressing institutional racism. Our community’s lack of racial diversity limits the perspectives that students develop in the classroom and contributes to racial hostilities and microaggressions. We implore educators to take action to dismantle overt and covert racism in our community with the following recommendations.
1. Petition the Douglas County Board of Education and Colorado State Board of Education to add diversity and inclusion as a priority agenda item at each future meeting.
2. Establish ongoing diversity and inclusion committees of students, educators, and community members in Colorado school districts to improve K-12 curriculum to represent diverse cultural voices.
3. Require all teachers and administrators to undergo implicit bias and anti-racism training so that they are equipped to facilitate conversations about race and offer equitable educational experiences to people of color.
4. Mandate teachers and administrators address issues of systemic injustice on a regular basis, for example, through homeroom curriculum and schoolwide assemblies.
5. Offer tactical resources for students to recognize racial injustice, report it to the right authorities, and advocate for their peers to promote allyship and collective responsibility.
We remind the community that now is the time to initiate swift and decisive action that creates a new generation of racially-informed students and leaders. Please act now alongside students who are demanding change.
Melanie Zhou and Reed Rohr
Roxborough and Highlands Ranch
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