In Superintendent Roumpos’ message of July 21, 2023, he writes:
“I remain committed to creating those opportunities and working together with the Board and with our community to ensure we are a district where our more than 16,000 students and 2,400 staff members from a variety of races, cultures, and diverse background, feel welcome and valued.
Please know that incidents of discrimination, racial or otherwise, will not be tolerated.”
Francis Howell Families fully supports this. Discrimination, racial or otherwise, has no place in our schools.
During their meeting of July 20, 2023, the Board discussed and approved a new policy that will sunset Board resolutions 75 days after a majority of the Board that approved them are no longer serving. Much of the discussion centered on the Board’s 2020 “Resolution on Racism”.
Director Puszkar asked the Board if there were any cases where the resolution did anything, as she was aware of none brought to the Board. None were mentioned, but Director Stiglich said that it offered hope. Director Lange said that the resolution has harmed nobody.
We disagree with Director Lange – There have been cases of racism and harm to our students that were enabled by the resolution.
As one example, Superintendent Hoven’s January 2021 letter to the Board stated:
“middle school challenge courses create equity issues, and our Academic Team was planning to remove them going forward.”
The justification given was that some minorities were under represented in the challenge classes, which they deemed an “equity issue”. As an interim step to elimination, they planned to “push/increase enrollment” of minorities in the challenge classes:
“How can we get the population of the course to look like the population of the building?
– Adjust cut scores to reflect the demographic and auto populate schedules for kids to meet criteria”
This is the same thing that the US Supreme Court recently ruled as unconstitutional in college admissions – educational discrimination based on race. It’s wrong for students to either be placed in classes that they aren’t ready for or denied access because of their race. It’s also wrong to gut our excellent middle school curriculum at the altar of “equity”, denying many more students access to real accelerated instruction.
The 2020 resolution enabled the district to do this because it embraced so-called “diversity, equity, and inclusion” as a goal. This resolution also enabled the hiring of Dr. LaGarrett King so that the principles of Critical Race Theory could be injected into our curriculum.
The 2020 resolution also declared the Board’s commitment to “antiracism”. Ibram Kendi, professor of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research and author of several books on the topic, says in his book “How To Be An Antiracist” (Note: this book was added to our library and curriculum after the 2020 resolution):
“The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
This is never-ending discrimination based on race. Dr. Roumpos said that racial discrimination will not be tolerated, and therefore we hope that he will join us in supporting the board’s action to sunset this resolution.
We urge the administration and staff to provide clear and equal enforcement of the student code of conduct, which prohibits discrimination. Administrators responsible for discriminatory “equity” or “antiracism” practices should also be held accountable.
- Challenge courses eliminated in Francis Howell middle schools
- Public vs Private Presentations on Black History Curriculum
- Critical Race Theory in Francis Howell – the Evidence
- Francis Howell admits to discrimination against Christian middle school students
Francis Howell Families rejects discrimination and any attempts to divide people by race, gender, or other immutable characteristics or to teach that those characteristics determine their destiny. We support equal opportunity in an environment that provides a high-quality, knowledge-based education for ALL students.
We strongly condemn the false statements by other individuals and groups who misconstrue the board’s actions and personally attack them. These are terrible examples for our children on how to conduct civil debate.