Highline Public Schools is rooted in a commitment to address systemic racism, as stated in School Board Policy 0010: "Highline seeks to be a leader in being an anti-racist organization focused on eliminating racism, racial and other identity inequities, and institutional bias."
We are committed to the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement because as a public school system we bear a responsibility to correct the historical inequities to which Highline Public Schools has contributed. As Policy 0010 states:
Highline students have experienced significant, measurable, system-wide inequities in achievement due to institutional racism and institutional biases, and a failure to address how race; language; disability; socioeconomic status; country of origin; gender; gender identity and sexual orientation; and the intersectionality of those characteristics impact educational outcomes.
When we say Black Lives Matter, we are expressing our fundamental support for equity and racial justice; it is not a reference to any particular organization. The phrase Black Lives Matter and the acronym BLM are widely used and most commonly associated with a movement to end systemic racism.
Following the death of George Floyd, Superintendent Susan Enfield sent this message to students and families in response to the protests against racism here and around the nation.
Dear Highline Families,
I want to share with you the message that I sent to all of our staff earlier today.
Our equity policy states that “Highline seeks to be a leader in being an anti-racist organization focused on eliminating racism, racial and other identity inequities, and institutional bias.” As I reflected on this over the weekend I came to the realization that I have allowed our focus on equity to prevent us from more clearly and boldly addressing racism. That changes today.
It is painfully clear that we can no longer ignore the racism that is too pervasive in our country. We must take action and that begins by talking with our children about these issues. I am including some resources here that may be helpful.
Talking with children about racial violence:
- Center for Racial Justice in Education: Resources for Talking about Race, Racism and Racialized Violence with Kids
- New York Times: Talking to Kids About Racial Violence, By Haig Chahinian
- University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education: Talking to children after racial incidents
Talking with children about race and COVID-19
- National Association of School Psychologists: Countering COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Stigma and Racism: Tips for Parents and Caregivers
- National Geographic: Talking to kids about xenophobia, By Leslie Hsu O
I commit to working with you and our Highline staff to ensure that our children can learn and thrive in a truly anti-racist school system.
Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Highline Public Schools