Yesterday’s guilty verdict of former police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd is a step towards accountability; however, Black Americans continue to be killed disproportionately by police and the systemic racism that fuels that violence continues to threaten and harm communities of color, particularly Black and Brown communities.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represented the Floyd family remarked, “This is a victory for those who champion humanity over inhumanity, justice over injustice.” We hope the end of the Chauvin trial offers a chance for healing for George Floyd’s family. However, we know there is tremendous work ahead to investigate and dismantle persistent patterns of criminality and racist violence in our policing systems.
In fact, just minutes before the Chauvin verdict was read, 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was fatally shot by police in Columbus, Ohio. This was yet another piece of devastating news that is evidence of a deeply flawed law enforcement system that continues to fail in its fundamental duty to protect and safeguard the rights of all citizens.
We need reform in all our systems in order to dismantle all expressions of racism and oppression that lead to racist belief systems and actions, including the education system.
A vast majority of students attending Washington’s charter public schools identify as students of color – Black, Brown, Asian, Indigenous, and other racial identities. We believe that charter public schools can be part of the solution to ending educational injustice and increasing racial equity in and beyond the walls of our schools. Our work will not be done until every child feels safe, and until race is not a predictor of police brutality, incarceration rates, and educational outcomes.
At WA Charters, we encourage our community to hold us accountable to our commitment to engaging in actively working to dismantle oppressive and racist practices and systems and eradicating white supremacy in all forms – within our organization, our sector of charter public schools, the broader public education system, and beyond.