August 28, 2020
Dear Shorewood School Community,
On behalf of the Shorewood School District, we extend our deepest thoughts and prayers to Mr. Jacob Blake, his family, friends, our colleagues in the Kenosha School District and all of their students. But this is not a time for just thoughts and prayers. Mr. Blake’s three children, and countless other black children here in Wisconsin and the US, continue to witness and be traumatized by hate and racism. We must continue to demand justice for Jacob Blake and all that have died unjustly at the hands of police. We reiterate: Black Lives Matter.
We also believe that racial injustice is not inevitable. We have a duty to continue to educate ourselves, our staff, our students, our parents and our community on what justice means in our own lives, and to ensure that our District and community lives these values. This past March, over fifty members of the Shorewood community and school district came together to develop our 2020-2025 Strategic Framework that produced three recommendations that will lead our work on racial justice over the next five years:
- Implement a social justice curriculum to address systemic oppression
- Utilize anti-racist pedagogy across the district
- Address the culture of fear that has prevented teachers and administrators from addressing inequities
These recommendations and our actions will move us to be a more just school system and prepare our students and staff to have a positive impact beyond our school walls. The Board and District commit ourselves to the anti-racist work that is required to dismantle white supremacy.
We realize this work will not be easy, but as a country, if we are to move forward on issues like racial justice, our work needs to start with ourselves, our schools, and our children. We ask that everyone in our community take time to listen to and learn from each other as we move through this very difficult time together.