Imposing Racial Equity in the Hewlett-Woodmere School District

Hewlett-Woodmere School Board

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The Hewlett-Woodmere School District's mission statement is,"We seek to develop the intelligences, potential, and interests of every child in our District."

The main ingredient for the success of a student is support. Support comes from parents, friends, but most importantly from the school itself.

The Hewlett-Woodmere Public School District has done a good job of providing many supportive opportunities to the students including the tens of sports teams, the theater department, the social worker, tutoring... etc. For these special experiences, we are extremely grateful, but the schools turned a blind eye to an issue that affects over 30% of the student body.

The Hewlett-Woodmere District has failed in terms of racial equity or providing an equal opportunity for students of all races. The public schools often have chosen to remain negligent when it comes to racial justice. This means that when a minority student experiences racism from a student or faculty member and they report the incident to administrators, the problem is often ignored and there are no repercussions to the nefarious hatred in our schools. By product, this creates an exclusive environment that alienates and even traumatizes the students of color.

All across the nation, schools are adopting anti-racist policies that serve to protect all the students and ensure racial equity. We want Hewlett-Woodmere to join the movement and to make our community a place where everyone is supported. Especially now, it is imperative that our schools become a safe space for all students as hate and racism are prevalent in every facet of our lives.

We are students, alumni, parents, teachers and administrators, but most importantly, we are the Hewlett-Woodmere community.

Petition by
David Goldhirsch
Hempstead Town of, New York

To: Hewlett-Woodmere School Board
From: [Your Name]

We demand that the Hewlett-Woodmere Public School District work towards its mission to give every child the chance to achieve their full potential. We call on the Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education to acknowledge that this mission cannot be realized without actively combating systemic racism in and out of the classroom, spearheading anti-racist, inclusive policies, and without listening to the voices of minority students.

**NOTE** You can read the extended letter at this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nfu3pCLSzBGy43Bu3SLO3gUw-iE0ZDMfavEg3L_zv78/edit?usp=sharing

We call upon the Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education to meet the following demands:

1. A statement from Superintendent Marino, Board President Sheinin, and each school principal that condemns racism and makes a commitment to cultivate an environment that is actively anti-racist and thus, welcoming & safe for all.

2. A commitment to increase POC representation within the HWPS administration, all faculty (teachers, social workers, public safety) and the Student Advisory Board.

3. Develop an inclusive academic curriculum in which POC representation is not tokenized, but normalized by incorporating curriculum resources that have been established as effective.

4. A staff budget to fund continual, implicit race bias training for all educators and employers of HWPS.

5. A commitment to implement and/or fund academic workshops and events on racial justice and educational equity for both students and faculty in the 2020-21 school year and onwards.

6. A more educational course of disciplinary action following racist and discriminatory incidents.

7. A refined Bullying, Harassment, and Discrimination Complaint Form that is in accordance with the DASA model, with an anonymous option.

8. A disciplinary system that is more reformative.

9. Addition of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al Adha to the Hewlett-Woodmere District Calendar and plan to collect data on the secular effects of the Eid holiday.

10. A task force comprised of both white and non-white faculty, students, alumni (including our team) to oversee the implementation of the above demands.

In order for the Hewlett-Woodmere School District to live up to its mission statement, they must proactively support minority students. This starts with a partnership between the school board, students, parents, and communities of color. We will give every student an equal opportunity to succeed.

Sincerely,
The Community of Hewlett-Woodmere