Statement from the Wissahickon School Board of Directors
Monday night during our Board Meeting, Morgan Wilson, one of our Student Board Representatives, made a statement to those in attendance regarding his experiences with racism while a student in the Wissahickon School District. Morgan displayed a poise and courage we should all take to heart. As stunned as were to hear about the specific instances of racism described by Morgan, unfortunately, this is not a new or limited phenomenon in our community. Over the past couple of weeks, we heard from recent alumni, including Jyontika Kapoor, Leanne Shen, and several other current and former students who spoke at the Community-wide Conversation addressing racism in Wissahickon on July 12th, 2020. Their message is clear and we feel compelled to respond.
To the Wissahickon Community – WE WILL NOT TOLERATE RACISM, HATE, PREJUDICE OR DISCRIMINATION OF ANY FORM ANY LONGER. We feel we must address this problem within our community and country. No student, faculty member or member of the Wissahickon Community should be subject to any form of racism and we pledge to eradicate racist systems, policies, processes, and behavior from our boundaries. We will engage in a joint effort between our students, faculty, administration, and families to achieve this goal. As Board Members, it is our obligation to root out injustice and ensure equal opportunities and comfort for all students in our care. We also pledge to ensure that our curriculum from grades K through 12 is culturally inclusive.
We will strive to be leaders in modeling, practicing, and promoting racial justice for every member of the Wissahickon Community. We will dedicate ourselves to doing so. Wissahickon School District can no longer be perceived as being asleep at the wheel or turning a blind eye to racial injustice and inequality. As a Board, along with the Administration and staff, we must act jointly and consistently not only for students, like Morgan, Jyontika, and Leanne, but also for everyone who has felt the pain of being treated as less than equal.
We know we have a lot to learn. We have heard many stories from our students enduring racism, as well as their messages of hope. Let's start there. We hear you; we are with you; and we will work together to end racism. We are Wiss Nation!
The Wissahickon School Board of Directors
Joe Antonio, President
Tracie Walsh, Vice President
Paul Badger, Jr.
Marshall D. Bleefeld