“The recent killing of George Floyd and other instances of lethal attacks on black people in our country is unacceptable. It is time to stop the violence against our neighbors, and to correct the underlying conditions, which include unequal access to a quality education, poverty, institutional discrimination, ignorance and power disparities that permit these repeated acts of aggression.

“Strong public schools are a vital part of the solution. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) believes education is a civil right, and the work of school board members is vitally important in this area right now. As the guardians of the institution that is the greatest equalizer in our society, school board members have a great opportunity to bring about meaningful, positive change so the civil rights of everyone in society are honored.

“Public schools, on their own, cannot produce the societal changes that are desperately needed to protect schoolchildren from social injustice. As Americans we must all do our part, working within our communities and collaborating with government agencies that serve students. The most recent devastating tragedy, the killing of Mr. Floyd, is not an isolated incident, but public schools can do their part to ensure students are learning to respect each other.

“While adults are struggling to make sense of the killings of black people, schoolchildren see the violence--in their communities and on television--and they rightfully ask, “Why is this happening?” That is a question that requires a thoughtful answer. NSBA will help our members facilitate the difficult conversations that need to occur by providing resources on the key issues including social justice, institutional racism, restorative justice practices, the school to prison pipeline and protests.

“This is an important moment. Let us not let it pass without committing to doing what is right to protect schoolchildren and to create a better society so future generations can live with the chance to enjoy peace, prosperity and liberty.”

Around NSBA

a boy being tutored at a desk

Black Students in the Condition of Education 2020

The Center for Public Education selected relevant data from the Condition of Education to help school leaders not only monitor the educational progress of Black students, but also rethink what public schools can do better for Black students.