WILMINGTON — The Wilmington City Schools (WCS) Board of Education members this week publicly renewed commitments to students in a statement that used the vocabulary of diversity and inclusion in the wake of this summer’s remarkable anti-racism movement.
Wilmington school board President Steve Murphy read the prepared statement on behalf of the board at the start of Monday’s board meeting. He said he wanted to take a moment to renew the board’s commitments to serving the students of WCS.
“We are committed to ensure that our students attend schools in a safe and inclusive environment. We are committed to upholding policies and procedures that prevent and address any acts of discrimination.
“We are committed to ensuring that our schools are emotionally and physically safe for all,” Murphy continued. “We will continue to value and celebrate diversity.”
Moreover, on June 17 the WCS Diversity Committee issued a social justice letter.
The letter states: “We are committed to the important work of creating an environment for teaching and learning that proactively seeks to end systemic racism. We adhere to our board policies that support a learning environment free from discrimination. Our work in creating restorative schools and being a trauma-responsive district continues to be a focus and a priority.”
The committee’s letter adds: “With the support of our District Diversity Committee and our dedicated staff and community, we will continue to examine our practices. We will listen, reflect, and take action to ensure that all students are successfully able to learn and grow in a safe learning environment. We are committed and ready to implement meaningful solutions that will result in equity for all.”
The letter was signed by WCS Superintendent Melinda “Mindy” McCarty-Stewart.
In September 2018, the WCS Diversity Committee hosted a public event celebrating cultural diversity.
At the time McCarty-Stewart said, “The event’s theme is ‘I Am Wilmington’ — to promote the unity of our school and community, and to celebrate our cultural backgrounds. We see diversity as a strength.”
The school board’s Monday statement additionally spoke about the current work being done to safely reopen school buildings this fall after the spring state-ordered shutdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.