WISDOM and Racine Interfaith Coalition condemn the blatant racism shown against children of color in the Burlington School District. The statewide organization WISDOM with affiliates in 12 cities, and our national organization GAMALIEL with affiliates in 15 states join RIC’s 26 member congregations in Racine County stand with RIC member, the Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism in calls for reform.
Racial epithets have been expressed in writing and verbally in many forms, including the interruption of Google Classrooms with racial slurs, vandalism, the disruption of school board meetings, and more.
A teacher attempting to teach tolerance and racial equity faced the demand by some elements in the community that she be summarily fired. While this did not happen, the School District has not fulfilled its pledge to enact the necessary changes to insure the safety and comfort of Black and Brown students in their district. The situation has risen to a crescendo of threats against the lives of those in the Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism who first brought this to the attention of the School Board.
While all persons are not equally guilty, we have seen throughout history that those who stand by and watch injustice must be held accountable, as well as those who directly perpetrate it. Silence in the face of racism is acceptance of racism, and the time is long past where that can be tolerated.
Faith leaders from around the state and across the country call upon the Burlington School District to immediately begin the essential work of creating a safer and more equal school environment for Black and Brown children in their community.