PETITION: Build racial equity within the Port Washington-Saukville School District


The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Joel Acevedo in Milwaukee, and countless other Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals across the county have once again highlighted racial inequalities in communities and organizations including the Port Washington-Saukville School District (PWSSD). Current and former students and staff at PWSSD have expressed their concerns about the lack of preparation upon graduation that leave students uninformed about Black history in the United States, Wisconsin, and Ozaukee County.

Students are unprepared to have conversations about race and to be productive members of diverse communities. They lack an understanding of the historical contributions of minorities, women, and BIPOC people within our world. You’re not training your students to function as adults in the world as it actually looks today if they don’t experience integration before they get into the workforce.

We ask that the Port Washington-Saukville School Board and Port Washington-Saukville School District Administration implement the following:

  1. Customize and annually review the chosen curriculum to reflect the history and contributions of BIPOC individuals and communities within the world and the United States more accurately. This should include:
    1. increase content that is inclusive of multiple races, BIPOC people, women, and other historical minorities,
    2. classroom discussions about race,
    3. speakers and presentations focused on racial inequalities,
    4. use different literature/media to foster discussions of race such as “The Hate U Give”, “Just Mercy”, “Stamped”, “Coming of Age in Mississippi”, or “The Color of Law”,
        1. add topics such as Juneteenth, microaggressions, racial income inequality, redlining, and other topics whose absence presents an ethnocentric perception of history and current events
      1. Create and fill a Diversity Coordinator position within the district to:
        1. Review policies related to the district and diversity.
        2. Assist in the creation and deployment of diversity planning and education within the district.
        3. Serve as a contact point for students and families concerned about racism and discrimination within the district.
        4. Work with multiple organizations affiliated with the district such as the Parent-Teacher Association, Booster Clubs, Student Council, etc to educate and inform about racism and discrimination within the school and what these groups can do to prevent it.
      2. Conduct diversity and anti-bias training annually to enable teachers and staff to ensure BIPOC students are respected in the classroom and ensure their voices are heard.
      3. Create a no-tolerance policy for racist and discriminatory behavior within the school district. Students should understand that racism will not be tolerated and that there will be significant consequences for such action. This could include losing an exam exemption.
      4. Develop a procedure by which students can report racism and discrimination, including the ability to do so anonymously.
        1. Maintain a record of incidents that is published annually, with identifying information redacted, for community review.

      We look forward to working with PWSSD on these recommendations to facilitate a more integrated and diverse school environment.

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