Per WCASD: DEI Does Not Apply to Academics
The Equity Mission of the WCASD: Eradicate institutional racism and inequities through social justice, promoting the emotional development of staff and students, and embracing diverse perspectives.
When one hears words like "diversity, equity, inclusion" they might think that this means that each child is given the opportunity to succeed academically. But do you see anything about academics in the WCASD Equity Mission Statement?
In January 2021, parents discovered through a Right to Know request that remote learning was disproportionately affecting non-white children moreso than their white counterparts, they requested a meeting with the Superintendent.
The meeting did not go as expected.
Parents thought they were meeting with the Superintendent; but instead, the meeting included almost 30 participants, from district office personnel to board members to principals.
When the parents shared the data they obtained from the district they were accused of spreading false information.
And when parents asked what the district was going to do to correct the disproportionate impacts that remote learning was having on children of color, the Equity Director and one of the board members told parents that they (white parents) had no right to advocate for black or brown children, that their concerns were disrespectful, and parents were told by the superintendent that their concerns were a form of racial misappropriation.
Parents were shocked. This group of parents mistakenly assumed that the district would WANT to help children who were falling behind, no matter their skin color. The district did not seem to care about the data, nor about the impact on students. Furthermore, the Equity Director and the board member were taking the position that a parent can ONLY advocate for a child if that parent has the same skin color as the child in question.
Hold up! Can this really be happening in our school district?! Does this mean that the district's position on advocacy means that one must be homeless to advocate for the homeless? Must one be LGBTQ+ to advocate for a child who is questioning their gender?
What about children who need academic intervention? Who should advocate for them?
What about diversity, equity and inclusion?
Diversity, equity, and inclusion only applies (per the district's own mission statement) to social justice, emotional development, and diverse perspectives.
DEI apparently does not apply to academics.
But isn't the purpose of public education to educate students? Shouldn't DEI be about helping each child to get the best education possible?