The IUSD Board of Education adopted Resolution No. 19-20-48, proclaiming that Black Lives Matter and calling for a commitment to creating an unbiased and inclusive society through education. Adopted during the regularly scheduled Board Meeting on June 23, this resolution reaffirms IUSD’s commitment to racial justice and creating equity and access for students.
Board Members expressed their heartfelt support for the resolution and reiterated that it is incumbent upon IUSD to put the tenets of the resolution into action. This includes educating our students and community about racism and racial injustice, assessing and implementing curriculum that supports diversity, examining textbooks for inclusivity, and holding professional trainings for staff with an explicit focus on serving Black students and our diverse community, as part of our daily work.
“I could not be more proud of the collective leadership of the IUSD Board of Education in adopting this important resolution,” said Betty Carroll, President of the Board. “There is a prevalent and long-standing marginalization of the Black community, and it has deep historical roots. At this point in our nation, history is being made. People’s minds are changing and their hearts are opening. Tonight, the Board reaffirmed that we need to act to continue to support racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in our School District. Black lives matter. It’s our moral responsibility as an organization to listen, to learn, and to teach shared history.”
To access the June 23 Board Meeting footage for this agenda item, which starts at approximately the four-hour mark, click here. To view in-depth comments from Board Members during the June 9 meeting, when the Board initially called for the resolution, click here.
While there is more work to be done, IUSD’s continued focus has been on equity and access for students. To read more about our efforts, click here.
Additionally, IUSD recently formed Educators for Social Justice in which teachers will participate in the examination of resources and facilitation of conversations on how to develop a curriculum that is antiracist and gives time and space in the classroom to address past and present ways in which racism exists. It is a critical examination of individual and systemic racism and empowers students through historical and civic exploration and engagement to take action in ending racial inequities in our daily lives.
IRVINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
RESOLUTION NO. 19-20-48
PROCLAIMING THAT BLACK LIVES MATTER
AND CALLING FOR A COMMITMENT TO CREATING
AN UNBIASED AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETY THROUGH EDUCATION
WHEREAS, the Irvine Unified School District is a TK-12 school district located in the City of Irvine, County of Orange, with a total enrollment of more than 36,000 students; and
WHEREAS, public schools have a positive impact every day on the lives of countless students; dedicated school board members and school district employees who work countless hours to provide for the needs of learners of all ages and backgrounds; and
WHEREAS, the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education believes that racism and racial injustice have no place in our society and is distraught by the continued stream of casualties and abuse seen throughout the nation and is saddened for the families who have been destroyed and the loved ones lost. Racial injustice has disproportionately impacted African-American and Black lives; and
WHEREAS, throughout our nation’s history, institutional and structural racism and injustice have led to deepening racial disparities across all sectors of society and have lasting negative consequences for our communities, cities, and nation; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Education is committed to maintaining a safe, positive school environment where all students, staff, parents/guardians, and community members are treated with respect and dignity; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Education believes that the District’s diverse community of students, staff, parents/guardians, and community members is integral to the success of the District’s vision, mission, and goals and that racism and racial injustice are in direct opposition to the District’s critical work of providing students with the highest quality educational experience we can envision; and
WHEREAS, addressing the needs of the most marginalized learners requires recognition of the inherent value of diversity and acknowledgement that educational excellence requires a commitment to equity in the opportunities provided to students and the resulting outcomes; and
WHEREAS, the Irvine Unified School District has focused on equity and access for all students with an intense focus on under-represented populations by way of implementing initiatives that promote increased access to rigorous course work for under-represented students, imbed academic and social emotional supports, integration of the principles of restorative justice, and utilization of Professional Learning Communities and student shadowing as vehicles to build capacity in our staff to understand and respond to student needs;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education stands strongly with our Black students, staff, families, and community and vows to reflect upon its policies, values, goals, and missions to ensure its commitment to all, and to creating an unbiased and inclusive society free of discrimination, harassment and negative stereotyping toward any person or group through education; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Board of Education vows to work to proactively identify class and cultural biases as well as practices, policies, and institutional barriers that may negatively influence student learning, perpetuate achievement gaps, and impede equal access to opportunities for all students in order to eradicate institutional bias of any kind, including implicit or unintentional biases and prejudices that affect student achievement, and to eliminate disparities in educational outcomes for students from historically underserved and under-represented populations; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Board of Education vows to make decisions with a deliberate awareness of impediments to learning faced by students of color and/or diverse cultural, linguistic, or socio-economic backgrounds; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, the Board of Education believes that it is incumbent upon the District, to educate our students and community about racism and racial injustice and is committed to continuing to examine curriculum, staffing and professional trainings in the spirit of continuous improvement and that this work must be done not just in times of acute awareness.
ADOPTED by the Board of Education of the Irvine Unified School District this 23rd day of June, 2020.