At Selsdon Primary we are united in our commitment to tackle and challenge racism, address inequality and call out discrimination, in whatever form it may take. This includes addressing overt acts, as well as those that might be less obvious or coded. As educators of a school population which is 61% Black and ethnic minority we cannot remain silent. The murder of George Floyd in the USA must ignite us to take more action against racism in Britain today.
Whilst these protests were sparked in the USA after this murder, the UK is not innocent. Black people are 40 times more likely to be stopped and searched in the UK. People from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are more likely to be jailed for some crimes than those who were white in the UK. Alongside this, we know that Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in Britain face extensive and persistent structural and economic inequalities. This can be seen in the Windrush scandal, the lives lost at Grenfell Tower, and the impact of coronavirus deepening social divides, we cannot stand by and do nothing. This is not withstanding the high number of Black lives lost at the hands of police.
We need to do more in our small school community to address the vast inequalities in the UK and do more to amplify the voices of ethnic minorities in our schools. We need to take action to support our entire school population, which means including a focus on our Black and ethnic minority families, through our work and to enhance learning that benefits our whole school community and attempts to begin to address these broader inequalities in the world.
Whilst we have taken some action in the past, this has clearly not gone far enough. We need to put more effort and resources into addressing these issues. We are committed to listening to the voices in our community and use these to move forward to provide better opportunities for every child in our school.
Within this, as a school we take an inclusive understanding of Black Lives Matter, and this means including every member of Black and ethnic minority communities. This means that we must include Black and ethnic minority women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer lives when we discuss how black lives matter. Black lives matter means that all black lives matter. This is particularly important when we consider that these protests are taking place in June, the month that we celebrate Pride across the world and the 52nd anniversary of the riots at the Stonewall Inn.
We all have a responsibility to stand up and speak out when we see something we know is wrong. Racial injustice and inequality is deeply ingrained in everyday life and in the systems that we live in. Those of us who are privileged may not even notice them when they are happening around us, but that does not excuse inaction. We must all take responsibility and address our own behaviours to make an effort to address these injustices.
We must better educate ourselves and our children to help eradicate those unjust systems, to promote kindness, empathy, and understanding. This is not an easy or a comfortable thing to do, but it is right.
We stand in support of any pupil, parent, carer, family member or any member of our school community who are taking action in support of Black Lives Matter or any other anti-racist organisation. We thank you for your commitment to this cause and we are proud that we have a community at our school standing up for what is right and just.