Our union stands firmly in support of our BIPOC colleagues who are leading critical ABAR work in the Beaverton School District. We believe their words, their lived experiences, and support their passionate calls to action. Here is my statement to district leaders at the School Board meeting last night:
As schools and other institutions across the nation grappled with how to address the pervasive issue of systemic and institutional racism, educators in BSD developed and facilitated an anti-racism workshop for all staff. This past week, months after that workshop took place, comments made by educators were taken completely out of context and were contorted by the national media to be used as part of a larger cultural battle that is taking place in cities and states throughout the country. Rather than leaning into the equity work and acknowledging that every single staff member in BSD has an official role in the equity efforts of our district, Beaverton School District leadership instead chose to distance themselves from their own employees and from the equity training that all district educators attended.
Our member-educators are disturbed by the impact of this incident. We have members who are feeling invalidated, angry, disappointed, hurt, afraid, and some have become the targets of vitriol and threats from people they’ve never met.
The foundation of equity work is love. We do equity work because we care deeply about our students and our community. We need to do this work. We need district leaders to stand with educators who are working to make our school district a safe and welcoming place for our students. We need to thoughtfully and intentionally create spaces where students and educators can be vulnerable and have important conversations. We need BSD to plainly tell, and show, those in our community who seek to undermine our critical anti-racism and anti-bias work that we are undeterred.
The Beaverton Education Association stands with educators who are boldly undertaking this difficult work. We will not allow educators to be intimidated into silence, and we will not stand idly by while this critically important work is attacked in the public square. If we are serious about our commitment to supporting and honoring our students and staff of color, this moment must not go unanswered. BEA members are vocally reaffirming our dedication to making our schools a safe and welcoming space for everyone, and it’s time for BSD leaders to do the same.
Sara Schmitt | she/her/hers