We are asking the WRONG questions regarding our return to school.
It’s not a question of WHEN will we return during COVID-19 at Stage 3 or 4 . . .
It’s not a question of HOW we will return with a mask, 6 feet apart behind partitions and PPP.
It’s not a question of WHO will return first. Elementary, students experiencing home security or high schoolers . . it’s not a question of WHERE or WHICH school students will use.
What’s different is that students of all ages and levels, now have confirmation of what they have felt for years and we have known for decades. They know that the educational system as it stands, is undermining their educational potential as well as compromising their emotional and personal safety and well being while violating humanity, even if they are benefiting from this system.
What’s different is that they are wide awake to the difference and indifference from their educators and environment.They want school to feel like love instead of a chokehold with a smile from nice people. What’s different is that our children are not well returning without tending to the spirit of their hearts with compassion and empathy towards each other and for themselves
The question to ask is WHY are we OK with returning students to this system that has clearly not been working for them long before the Pandemic?
Why are we OK with the omittance of truth and White washing History?
Why are we OK with surveillance, stalking and assaulting Black bodies?
Why are we OK with disenfranchising and discrediting Black minds?
Why are we OK dismissing education for immigrants, incarcerated and homeless youth?
Why are we OK rubbing the pressure to assimilate, perform and test to White standard?
Why are we OK with ignoring the collective trauma of racism without collective healing?
Why are we OK with the widening gap of technology in Black/Brown and neighborhoods?
We need to be asking ourselves, why are we allowing our children to return to an educational system reflective of a two sided coin? A system that advances White society while devaluing all of the rest? A system that upholds White Bodied Superiority, White Standard as the norm, White advancement while withholding opportunities while oppressing Black, Indigenous and Students of Color - Why are we “OK” with this? Being in the middle of a Pandemic did not change anything
If we Historicize the Educational system, we see that it was built to completely exclude educating Black people by making it against the law to teach them to read. Excluding and disenfranchising the poor, disabled, immigrants and “others' ' has a long standing history as well. Let’s not forget that the goal of education for Indigenous populations was to assimilate them to be culturally white by any means necessary including family separation and violence.
All of this manufacturing is a system designed to protect, advantage and uphold White Bodied Superiority and a society that serves them exclusively. And even inside that system for Whites, schooling was meant to skim a few gems from the “rubble” to serve the designers of the elite system while using the “rubble” to work in the pit to keep the charade of society going. Why are we OK using racial oppression as the means to uphold a system that does not support all students?
They are ALL our Children. We will profit from or pay for whatever they become - James Baldwin
We are sending our children back to the same philosophy and skewed system that got us here in the first place. WHY would we do that is the question we need to be asking.
If our answers sound like, that’s all we know, that's just the way it is or that’s what has been working. - then again, it’s obvious that, then we chose to not see humanity and look the other way. And even if you are benefiting or don’t “feel” the damage, it is the very reason why we are so morally damaged and ignorant about our own history and humanity, which keeps us continuing and repeating the same patterns.
WHY are we willing to continue this if it is so damaging for our society and our world?
Why are we allowing this damage to continue with pause in examining WHAT we are doing to ourselves and our future general?
“We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need to do that. Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven't so far.”
Maurice Sykes - Educator|Author|Activist
If you want to hear what students, parents and staff members really need in order to return to school, listen for yourself and learn from their conversation at their Virtual March on Washington State July 21st regarding the education they are currently getting.
We would be wise to take our lead from the one’s most in need. Take the surveys here yourself and share how you feel and what you need in order for yourself or child to return to school.
For more information on ways to make a difference or to talk further, please schedule a consultation with me at The Root of Us Store
The Root Of Us ~