Photo credit: Kartemquin Films, '63 Boycott, Chicago Public Schools Boycott
Starting with a session on November 30, REP will host a 3-part series that engages our community in reflecting on the themes brought up by the Nice White Parents podcast. We’ll discuss how similar or different dynamics play out at Peirce among different family/parent groups and move through discomfort into action by identifying tangible steps we can take as individuals and together towards a more cohesive community.
We would love to have your participation in this important conversation as we truly believe it will take ALL of us to make any change happen. We invite parents to dive in a few articles below, and we will keep posting these throughout our series. We welcome your comments here!
Peirce Discussion Guides:
Peirce's Discussion Guide for Episodes 1 & 2
Peirce's Discussion Guide for Episodes 3 & 4
'Nice White Parents' Discussion Guide
CPS history through 2015
Why MLK Encouraged 225,000 Chicago Kids to Cut Class in 1963
Podcast Examines How 'Nice White Parents' Become Obstacles In Integrated Schools
Intersectionality, explained: meet Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the term
How to Teach White Kids About Race
Learning to Recognize and Celebrate Students’ Cultural Experiences
CPS Spends Millions On Busing That Results In Few Integrated Schools
English learners often go without required help at Chicago schools
PBS Real Talk: Bias, Racism, and Decentering Whiteness in the Classroom
Please consider donating to the Peirce Solidarity Fund via Venmo: @peircesolidarityfund or Paypal: PeirceSolidarityFund@gmail.com.
100% of the money raised goes to students and families who need it. This is a staff/community-led effort and not affiliated with or endorsed by CPS or Peirce School. Donations are NOT tax-deductible. This is simply Peirce families showing solidarity with fellow families who have been hit hard by the pandemic and financial crisis.
Considere donar al Fondo de solidaridad de Peirce a través de Venmo: @peircesolidarityfund o Paypal: PeirceSolidarityFund@gmail.com.
El 100% del dinero recolectado va a estudiantes y familias que lo necesitan. Este es un esfuerzo liderado por los empleados / la comunidad y no está afiliado ni respaldado por CPS o Peirce School. Las donaciones no son deducibles de impuestos. Esto es simplemente algunas familias de Peirce que muestran solidaridad con otras familias que han sido duramente afectadas por la pandemia y la crisis financiera.
Senn High School's Historic Vote
Photo Credit: By Klio0701 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47365684
Yesterday several REP group members witnessed Senn High’s Local School Council (LSC)’s monumental vote to remove School Resource Officers (SROs) from the high school. The four-hour meeting included intense debate and incredibly moving statements from students, parents, staff and community members. Current and former Senn students made statements opposing SROs in their school with clarity and conviction -the only public comments in support of SROs were from prior administrative staff. We urge you to listen to the LSC meeting once the recording is posted as it was an incredible testament to the power of student organizing and activism.
As a valued community partner and participant in joint programming, Senn High is an integral part of Peirce. Parents from Peirce REP group were galvanized to participate in the campaign to remove SROs to stand in solidarity with Senn High Students. In letters to Senn High LSC to advocate for the removal of the SROs parents mentioned the following key reasons: failure to address egregious deficiencies identified in the City of Chicago Inspector General’s report in 2018 and the 2019 consent decree, the unequivocal data showing the lack of improvement in safety as a result of SROs, and the disproportionate harm caused to Black and Brown students, and diverse learners on IEPs.
Senn High LSC’s vote for removal of SROs follows similar actions taken recently at Northside College Prep Academy, Lane Tech College Prep and Mather High School. We recognize these issues are complicated but we remain committed to the advancement of racial justice and will continue to hold our leaders and elected representatives accountable for their actions. We believe strongly in achieving these goals by sharing and uplifting the voices of those who have been marginalized and working together towards justice. Below is a summary of the vote taken by the Senn High’s LSC to “retain School Resource Officers for SY20-21.”
In closing, we ask that REP group members and allies collectively “call-in” and continue the focus on furthering the anti-racism work we do in the Peirce and surrounding community.
SENN LSC MEMBERS 2019-2020 The votes are in response to the following motion: Senn Votes to RETAIN the SRO program. A “nay” vote is a vote to remove SROs.
Mary P. Beck, Principal : Yay
Toyleane Bolton, Parent : Yay
Andrea "Gina" Eshu, Parent : Yay
David Gregg, Teacher : Nay
Muhammad Kahn, Student : Abstain*
Kevin Kaufman, Parent: Nay
Vassiliki Kouchoukos, Parent: Yay
Joe Lev, Teacher: Nay
Nancy Lewis, Community : Nay
Mark Lupescu, Parent: Yay
Kimberly McMorris, Parent: Nay
Terrell Walsh, Non-Teacher Staff : Yay
Tom Welch, Community: Nay
*Muhammad Kahn the sole student on the LSC wanted to clarify that he was intending to vote “nay” but the phrasing of the question was confusing thus the abstain vote. We think it is important to elevate this voice and want to make sure we communicate this additional information. A summary of last night’s meeting can be found by reading the following article from Block Club Chicago: Senn Highschool Council Votes to Remove In-School Police