At the March 28, 2022 School Board Work Session, the White Bear Lake Area School Board unanimously approved the Resolution Supporting Commitment to Equity and Inclusion below. While the resolution had originally been on the agenda as a discussion item, the Board amended their meeting agenda and added the resolution as an operational item so that it could be approved later in the meeting.
RESOLUTION SUPPORTING COMMITMENT TO EQUITY AND INCLUSION
WHEREAS, Independent School District No. 624, White Bear Lake Area Schools strives to provide every student with a welcoming and inclusive environment for learning and success;
WHEREAS, we are responsible for fostering equitable learning environments where all children, staff members, and families are respected and valued for who they are regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, culture, religion, national origin, race, or ethnicity;
WHEREAS, we resolutely stand, and will speak out, against hate, racism, and violence;
WHEREAS, the School Board and the Administration are committed to removing obstacles that may contribute to systemic inequity; and
WHEREAS, the intent of this resolution is to publicly commit to continue our efforts around diversity, inclusion, and racial equity and to adopt government speech in furtherance of these objectives.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the School Board of Independent School District No. 624, White Bear Lake Area Schools, as follows:
- We condemn all forms of bullying and unlawful discrimination.
- We condemn all manifestations and expressions of racism, discrimination, and ethnic or racial intolerance.
- We condemn hate speech and systemic racism directed at Indigenous people and all people of color.
- We condemn hate speech directed at individuals because of a disability.
- We condemn hate speech directed at individuals because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
- We believe BIPOC students, families and staff matter. We believe Black lives matter. We believe Indigenous lives matter. We believe the lives of People of Color matter.
- We believe that one’s gender and sexuality are important parts of one’s identity which deserve to be genuinely accepted and valued.
- We believe that speaking a language other than English is an asset.
- We believe students receiving special education and gifted services are an integral part of our educational responsibility and we must welcome the opportunity to be inclusive, make appropriate accommodations and celebrate their assets.
- We believe we must remove barriers that prevent students from one or more historically marginalized groups from attaining high levels of academic achievement and growth.
- We authorize and direct the Superintendent to foster a culture that respects diverse people and ideas and to take all legal steps necessary to further equity and inclusion within our schools, departments, and buildings.
- We authorize and direct the Superintendent to develop and implement a systemic protocol for responding to racial and/or biased harm.
- We commit to fostering a school environment that promotes respect for and curiosity about all cultures, and that affirms the equal humanity of all our students, staff members, families, and community members.
- We commit to ensuring that each student will have access to appropriate learning opportunities that honor their educational needs while also promoting a sense of belonging.
- In order to foster equitable learning for students regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, culture, religion, national origin, race, or ethnicity, we adopt the following government speech: “All are welcome here.” We authorize the Superintendent to promote this government speech across the District and to approve additional messaging, signage, and visuals that are consistent with this government speech and further the objectives of this Resolution.
- We adopt the following messages as official government speech: “We believe BIPOC students, families and staff matter.” “We believe Black lives matter.” “We believe Indigenous lives matter.” “We believe the lives of People of Color matter.” In doing so, we are not endorsing a specific organization. Rather, we are endorsing the belief that the lives of all individuals of color matter. We authorize the Superintendent to promote this government speech across the District and to approve additional messaging, signage, and visuals that are consistent with this government speech and that further the objectives of this Resolution.
- We will seek to amplify diverse perspectives in support of students of color, their families, and educators. We will not only listen to their concerns and aspirations, but also pledge to make decisions that are mindful of their concerns.