Public education is the backbone of our state.
As this week ends, and on what would be Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday, we appreciate educators and districts across Wisconsin who are responding to this moment by publicly supporting and committing to black families in their communities.
Their leadership shines through in their commitments to kids and families. The Wisconsin Public Education Network wants to amplify some of their messages:
- Sun Prairie Area Superintendent Brad Saron and School Board President Steve Schroeder stated their commitment to the Sun Prairie community. Sun Prairie High School leaders followed this with a specific series of resources, tips, virtual conversations, and offerings of support to families.
- The Wisconsin Education Association Council joined the national union’s call for justice and encouraged members to wear black in a public show of solidarity with Minnesota educators. WEAC President Ron “Duff” Martin released a statement calling for a “complete overhaul” of racist institutions through courageous action from lawmakers and educators.
- The Black Educators Caucus of Milwaukee organized about 100 demonstrators to chalk out #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool messages from the MTEA office to the mayor’s home. They will hold a similar event this weekend.
- Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith P. Posley extended sympathy to affected families and called for healing and racial justice.
- The Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association stated their solidarity and released demands.
- Madison Interim Superintendent Jane Belmore expressed support and reiterated her district’s commitment to have anti-racist conversations with children.
- Superior District Administrator Amy Starzecki and Board President Len Albrecht contacted families with resources on how to speak about racism with children and a commitment to do so more deliberately in their district.
- The La Crosse School Board wrote a public commitment to enact policies that support schools, center racial equity, learn from their missteps, and hold themselves accountable.
- Green Bay Area Public Schools Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld and Board President Eric Vanden Heuvel reached out to families with a promise to see, hear, and stand with families of color in Green Bay.
- Eau Claire Area School Board President Tim Nordin called for “radical changes to address the inequities in our system, policies, and practices” in a statement detailing the role of public schools. New Eau Claire School Board member Dr. Marquell Johnson followed this with an “It Seems To Me” column in the Leader-Telegram to connect his personal racial justice story to the present moment.
Finally, the Department of Public Instruction and State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor released a statement on the state’s journey for educational equity, commitment to improve, and guidance to center black lives and racial equity when schools reopen in the fall.
We know these are only a few examples of the strong leadership our public school educators are showing in Wisconsin. Leaders know that public schools have a unique responsibility–and a unique opportunity–to address these issues in a meaningful way. We thank our state’s educators for this leadership and are committed to helping them acknowledge, respond to, and address racism head-on by making sure every public school thrives.
We appreciate these efforts and encourage lawmakers, educators, and community members in every corner of the state to follow these examples of courageous leadership.