Hamilton International Middle School PTSA

Resolution Supporting BLM

Black Lives Matter at Hamilton

Resolution for Hamilton International Middle School PTSA Support for Black Lives Matter and taking Anti-Racist Action

A RESOLUTION of the Hamilton International Middle School (Hamilton) PTSA Board to declare that the lives of Black students matter and to commit to becoming an anti-racist organization.

WHEREAS, PTA is a voice for every child and advocates for the well-being and education of all children;

WHEREAS, that as organizations of Parents, Teachers, and Students, we are united with educators nationwide and in Seattle Public Schools who state unequivocally that Black Students’ Lives Matter; and

WHEREAS, we honor and continue the work of one of our founders, Selena Sloan Butler, who was the founder and first president of the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers Association (NCCPT) at Yonge Street Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia in 1911, the first parent-teacher association for African Americans in the United States, which merged with National PTA in 1970 to serve all children; and

WHEREAS, the Seattle School Board unanimously passed Resolution No. 2017/18-14 which affirmed that Black Student’s Lives Matter and that Seattle School Board Policy No. 0030, Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity, states that “the responsibility for student success is broadly shared by district staff, administrators, instructors, communities and families. We are focused on closing the opportunity gap and creating learning communities that provide support and academic enrichment programs for all students. Additionally, we believe that it is the right of every student to have an equitable educational experience within the Seattle Public School District”; and

WHEREAS, our Black students face structural racism that was historically built and is systemically maintained in our current institutions and social systems, therefore we must affirm that their lives, specifically, do matter; and

WHEREAS, public schools are the foundation of our democracy and we acknowledge that inequities and segregation exist in our school district and city, and that we must critically examine the role that we in PTA/PTSAs have in upholding or dismantling inequities in our system, and work intentionally in a united effort of community and school for equitable opportunities and outcomes;

WHEREAS, PTSA action takes the form of resolutions and policy, we acknowledge that we can be racist or anti-racist, but we cannot be neutral. It is time for us to acknowledge the existence and pervasiveness of systemic racism and use our power as an advocacy organization to effect policy change. It is time for us to prioritize the needs of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students and those furthest from educational justice (FFEJ).

Now, Therefore, Be It

Resolved, that the Hamilton PTSA Board declares that the lives of our Black students matter; and therefore, be it further

Resolved, that Hamilton PTSA

  • Commits to becoming an anti-racist organization, developing an anti-racist strategy, and taking concrete actions to foster anti-racism at Hamilton.
  • Commits to ongoing partnership with Hamilton’s Race and Equity Team to reflect on the “Four ‘I’s of Racism” to guide anti-racist policies and actions for the 2020-2021 school year. o Ideological (How are we thinking and teaching? What assumptions are we making?) o Institutional (How do our policies and practices affect white and BIPOC members of our community differently?)
    • Interpersonal (How are we in community together? How do we hear each other?) o Internalized (How do we support people of color taking the lead?)
  • Educates our PTSA members on issues related to anti-racism by hosting parent education events and providing anti-racism books and resources for families.
  • Actively works to provide inclusive opportunities (via surveys, platforms, forums, recruitment to board positions, etc.) to hear our staff/students/families of color and families furthest from educational justice.
  • Aligns our budget and engages with our community to determine how PTSA resources should be allocated to promote anti-racist policies and/or support educational achievement of BIPOC children at Hamilton and across Seattle Public Schools.
  • Actively works with our school, Seattle Public Schools, the City of Seattle, and the State of Washington to provide opportunities and funding specifically for professional development for anti-racist work.
  • Seeks opportunities to act in support and solidarity with BIPOC and FFEJ groups within Hamilton and the greater Seattle community.
  • Advocates for removal of armed emphasis officers and decisions about the reallocation of the funding for those positions be determined by families of color in the four impacted schools.
  • Understands that this resolution is only a first step towards being accountable, as we jointly partner with our school, school system, and community to center anti-racism and the voices of our communities of color.

Adopted by Hamilton PTSA Board June 2020.

Resolution adapted by Hamilton PTSA board members Lorelei Goodyear, Joanna Grist, and Camilla Layman from text prepared by SCPTSA Leg. Chair – District Issues: Eliza S. Rankin and Bryant Elementary School PTA, with additional input from the Hamilton International Middle School’s Race and Equity Team.