According to the district’s website, the day will not be a part of the larger “Black Lives Matter Movement;” however, it will be “a day of education, dialogue and action that will actively engage a significant number of educational communities throughout Monroe County, in activities which support understanding and affirmation of Black Lives.”
A small group of parents and teachers have proposed the voluntary observance, which has the support of the school board, the Rochester Teachers Association, and The Association of Supervisors and Administrators of Rochester, the district said.
And, although RCSD has received some pushback regarding its decision to hold the discussion; according to officials, the district’s decision to participate in the initiative does not mean that one student’s life is valued more than another’s.
“It is especially important to highlight the value of black lives in a society whose history involves centuries of slavery and denial of civil rights to black citizens, the impacts of which continue to this day,” officials said. “Affirming one thing as valuable and deserving of attention does not automatically devalue another, just as when a parent says they love one child, they are not offending or excluding their other children. Similarly, saying that ‘black lives matter’ does not mean that brown, white or “blue” (police) lives don’t matter. It simply means that black lives deserve special affirmation, understanding and attention in our district, and the rest of society right now.”
Fifty-seven percent of students in RCSD are black, and educators said they plan to engage in respectful dialogue with students in classrooms across the city, in observance of the initiative.
Visit http://www.rcsdk12.org/site/default.aspx?PageID=48488&IgnoreRedirect=true for additional information regarding the district’s “Black Lives Matter at School” day, or https://blacklivesmatteratschool.org/ for additional information regarding the national initiative.