February 7, 2023
Earlier today, I was made aware of a situation where a student used racially motivated, dehumanizing language towards another student. Please know that incidents that involve bias based behaviors/racially motivated behaviors in this case, are not tolerated. Peirce staff and I acted swiftly to coordinate efforts in order to support students, families and staff as we begin to work towards repairing harm while also following the districts guidelines per the Student Code of Conduct.
In some interactions with Peirce families, I hear expressions like "that does not happen at Peirce" or "are you sure that is what really happened?" These questions further marginalize the experiences of students, families and staff members of color in sharing their experiences. We must believe our school community members when they are brave enough to share that they have been a victim of racists attacks, we must show them love like we would to our own child/family member/friend and we must acknowledge and thank them for being so brave and then we must do something about it.
As a community, we can all do better to combat bias based/racist behaviors from entering our community. I ask that we all talk with students about how their language matters, we must not accept that harmful language is just a "joke" or "they are just kids". We must do better at rejecting acts of racially motivated language, actions and gestures and we must continue to teach our students to fully embody the IB Learner Profile.
Lori Zaimi, Principal
How does the school proactively address bias? A few of the proactive measures are...
- Staff have been trained in using the 4 Step Consciousness Raising Process and have been teaching their students about developing their own consciousness/becoming advocates of each other.
- Teachers engage in curriculum review with a lens on bias, equity, cultural representation, cultural representation, accuracy and instructional rigor.
- Teachers use Second Step as our Social Emotional Learning Curriculum along with Talking Circles to develop community and address issues.
How do I report incidents of harm?
- Contact any Peirce staff member and they can help guide you in the right direction.
- This form is also a tool for students, families, staff and community members to report incidents of harm in our school community. Information collected will help us identify issues, develop a plan of support, plan of action and improve steps we are taking to encourage self advocacy. If you do not feel comfortable sharing your information in this form, please reach out to any member of our staff/school community so that we can respond to the concern you have.
How can families help support education at home? Peirce's Racial Equity Parent Group released a response last week about the death of Tyre Nichols and in that email, they shared some great resources for all of us to consider and I thank them for gathering these materials for our parent community:
"As parents we call on our fellow community members to lead with love–to educate ourselves, be mindful of one another and our children, and support each other in our different needs as we take part in this community."
Join an affinity group. REP supports efforts to open more spaces for parents to come together in affinity groups of shared racial experience:
Parents of Color Affinity Space. “Voices for REP” is a no-agenda What’sApp space for parents of color. Open this link to join: https://chat.whatsapp.com/I9DUEwAw3B03Zy9hQzGmfK
Affinity Space for All Parents. Attend REP’s meeting, Tuesday, February 7, 8:00 - 9:00 pm, registration link here: http://bit.ly/3WMwvC2
Resources for Supporting Kids in the Wake of Racialized Violence:
Resource for All Parents & Care-givers:
Resource for White Parents of Children of Color
Resources for White Parents
Video: “Raising White Kids”Author talks about how to talk to your kids about race (5 mins)
Video: How to Raise Kids to be Anti-Racist and Talk to Them About Racism (5 mins)
12 Part Video Series: Facing Race
Racial Equity Parent (REP) Group Steering Committee:
Sean Johnson Andrews, Ashley Cross, Bridget O’Connell, Kristen Over, Jess Rooney, Bonn Wade