Berkeley elementary schools to be renamed in support of Black Lives Matter

Bay Area

Khai Rieara, 10, left, and his brother Keanu Rieara, 12, of Frederick, Md., stand on the Black Lives Matter banner that is draped on the fence surrounding Lafayette Park, for a photograph as they attend a protest Sunday, June 7, 2020, near the White House in Washington over the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 after being restrained by police in Minneapolis. “Keanu has been talking about it a lot,” said his mother, “he feels it’s inhuman what happened to George Floyd, that nobody helped him and that he didn’t deserve that. He wants to know if that’s going to happen to him.” (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) — The Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education recently voted to rename two schools in its district in support of Black Lives Matter among other resolutions.

On June 10, the school board unanimously passed Resolution 20-064 at their board meeting and concluded on a list of resolutions in support of Black Lives Matter including renaming Jefferson and Washington Elementary Schools.

The final resolution can be viewed in both Spanish and English.

As Black Lives Matter protests sweep the nation and demonstrations demanding justice in response to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many other Black Americans.

The resolution in support of Black Lives Matter include the following action steps:

  • Develop Resources for Educators to be embedded in professional development as integral components of the District’s work with teachers in all subjects;
  • Develop Resources that Focus on the Well-Being of Black Families – for the purpose of contributing to the ongoing need for healing;
  • Launch a Black Joy Campaign – to celebrate the full experience of Black students, families, staff, and community members;
  • Support Black Lives Matter At School Week – February 1-5, 2021;
  • Display a Black Lives Matter Banner in the Board Chambers;
  • Create Excellence and Equity at Longfellow Middle School through a review of resources, procedures, and other forms of support for Black students;  
  • Proactively Identify Class and Cultural Biases – this includes practices, policies, and institutional barriers that negatively influence student learning, perpetuate achievement gaps, and impede equal access to opportunities for all students in order to eradicate institutional bias of any kind;
  • Strengthen and Document a Commitment to Racial Justice – this includes not only addressing the symbols of institutional racism and white supremacy, but also to proactively identify and address biases, practices, policies, and institutional barriers that perpetuate injustice and inequality in our schools and our community; and deliver quarterly reports on progress.

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