Addressing the horrific death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the nationwide protests that followed, the President and the Executive Director of the New Jersey School Boards Association emphasized the critical role of public education in combating racism and discrimination.
The June 2 statement issued by NJSBA President Michael R. McClure and Executive Director Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod follows:
Like the vast majority of Americans, we are appalled by the horrific death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Schools are not directly involved in law enforcement or criminal justice. Nonetheless, they have the unquestionable responsibility to eliminate racism and inherent bias through the education of students and the professional development of staff and by working with the broader community, including social service and faith-based organizations, municipal government and law enforcement.
No one should ever dispute the freedom to peacefully demonstrate. However, any criminal activity carried out under the cover of protest endangers everyone in our communities and undermines the goal of eliminating racism.
The New Jersey School Boards Association is committed to equity and equal educational opportunity for all of our state’s public school students. Our efforts include creation of an Equity Council to provide ongoing training to combat inherent bias and to promote a school climate in which all students can succeed.
The New Jersey School Boards Association will continue to provide training, advocacy and support for efforts that will enable local boards of education to create a safe and secure learning environment for all students, one that is free of the evils of racism and discrimination. Our mission demands no less.